“It’s unfortunate that the authorities pick a time for the games when most of the top players are going to be involved in county finals and semi-finals, even though they’d love to be involved with their provinces, it’s a shame”, said Cork selector O’Leary.
“The players are all very keen to represent Munster, but fellas who’ve lost a county final on a Sunday obviously aren’t going to be in the mood to head to Thurles for training on the following Tuesday.”
Jerry O’Connor and Neil Ronan of Cork, Eoin Kelly of Tipperary and Sean McMahon of Clare will not be travelling with Munster to take on Ulster tomorrow in Casement Park, and O’Leary and his fellow selectors will decide on their team in Dundalk this evening when the players assemble.
“We’re treating Ulster seriously, they take the competition very seriously and they’ve been preparing for the game for the last month. They’re well prepared, whereas we’ve had only one get-together and we’re hoping the team gels tomorrow, ” said O’Leary.
Although they won the Cork senior hurling championship with their club Newtownshandrum last Sunday, Pat Mulcahy and Ben O’Connor are available for selection.
In the Connacht-Leinster semi-final scheduled for Loughrea, Mayo dual star Keith Higgins will be the only non-Galway player to start on the Connacht team.
Connacht manager Conor Hayes has included three Roscommon players, Ray Mulry, Mike Keaveney and Mervyn Connaughton, in a strong side as they bid to retain the crown.
Hayes can call on 11 of the Galway side which started the All-Ireland final against Cork last month.
Kevin Broderick, who was unable to start in any of Galway’s championship games, as he recovered from surgery, is chosen at left half-forward.
: (all Galway except where stated): L Donoghue; D Joyce, T Óg Regan, A Coen; D Hardiman, S Kavanagh, G Mahon; F Healy, D Collins; D Tierney, R Murray, K Broderick; K Higgins (Mayo), D Forde, N Healy.
: R Mulry, M Keaveney, M Connaughton (all Roscommon), P Dullaghan, L Hodgins, D Hayes, N Kenny, T Tierney.
: D Óg Cusack, R Curran, J Gardiner, P Mulcahy, J O’Connor, B O’Connor, N Ronan (Cork), D Fitzgerald, D MacMahon, G Quinn, T Carmody, N Gilligan, A Markham, G O’Grady (Clare), T Browne, E Kelly, E Murphy, J Murray, S Prendergast (Waterford), P Curran, Diarmuid Fitzgerald, P Kelly, P Maher, M Webster (Tipperary), S Lucey, D Moran, P O’Grady (Limerick).