Stephens quartet back for Kilkenny

DEFENDING champions Kilkenny will have their James Stephens contingent of Eoin Larkin, Jackie Tyrell, Donncha Cody and Eoin McCormack available when they travel to Semple Stadium, Thurles on Sunday.

There they will be playing their 'match of the day' clash with Tipperary in the second round of the Allianz NHL.

All four missed last weekend's runaway victory over Laois, a game in which newcomer Michael Rice and Richie Power shone.

However, Kilkenny will again be without the talented Henry Shefflin, Martin Comerford and Noel Hickey, all of whom are injured.

The Tipperary team will not be announced until after training tomorrow night due to the involvement of six of the panel in the Fitzgibbon Cup quarter-finals due to take place today.

The players involved are Eoin Kelly, Conor O'Mahoney and Shane McGrath (all LIT), Diarmuid Fitzgerald (UCD), Hugh Moloney (WIT) and Darragh Egan (NUIG).

However, wing back Eamonn Corcoran is considered a doubtful starter after shipping a knock in last weekend's draw with Limerick.

Corner-forward Andrew Quinn has been ruled out of the Clare team for their game with Wexford at Wexford Park. Quinn sustained a leg injury during last Sunday's facile victory over Down. Ger O'Grady is again ruled out with a broken finger but team captain Seanie McMahon and Niall Gilligan could be in the frame after recovering from shoulder injuries.

Centre-back Declan Ruth has been ruled out of the Wexford team. He hobbled off with a hamstring injury just 13 minutes into last Sunday's game with Waterford, which the Yellowbellies narrowly lost.

Brian Begley could get a starting position on the Limerick team to play Galway at Pearse Stadium. The dual star came on as a substitute in the draw with Tipp and impressed on his introduction in the right corner of attack.

Galway, who sensationally lost to Antrim, will again be without Ollie Canning and Alan Kerins, both of whom have club commitments.

Both Waterford and Laois report no injury problems for their respective showdowns with Cork and Antrim at Pairc Uí Rinn and Portlaoise.

All-Ireland champions Cork could have Brian Murphy and Seán Óg Ó hAilpín available.

Meanwhile, Wexford inter-county footballer Brendan Doyle has been left kicking himself. The tall midfielder had a request before Monday night's County Board meeting seeking a transfer from Waterford club St Saviour's to Gusserane in Wexford.

Last year Doyle, along with his brother Jody, left home club Ramsgrange to play with the Waterford club.

Now Brendan, who is working and domiciled in Mullingar, has shunned his native Ramsgrange in an effort to join neighbours Gusserane.

However, when the request came before Monday night's County Board meeting, members decided to refer the request back to the Transfer Committee.

With the player resident and working in Mullingar, it's now felt that he will fail to get the support of the Wexford Transfer Committee to play with Gusserane in this year's county league and championship games.

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