Larkin: Physicality is part of hurling

Kilkenny captain Eoin Larkin believes there are outside forces intent on taking the physicality out of hurling.

Two weeks after Brian Cody said hurling referees were coming under too much pressure, the 2008 Hurler of the Year is concerned there are moves afoot to soften the game by people with little attachment to and understanding of it.

“Physicality is part and parcel of it. I don’t think there is any player will tell you they don’t want to be hit in a match.

“No one, after getting a shoulder, gets off the ground and starts crying.”

Prior to the Division 1 final against Cork, Cody said referees were being “straitjacketed” and there was no dirt in the game.

“I do think there is a lot of pressure put on referees,” said Larkin. “People expect to see games flowing but that is not always possible.

“Referees should be let make their own decision based on common sense rather than the decision the lad up in the stand wants you to make.”

Put to him that the expression is not in the rule book, Larkin replied: “It’s not in the rule book but if you wanted it black and white there’d be a free every five seconds in a hurling game.

“I’m not going to make any decisions on it, the referees and GAA will do that. We’ll just get on with it.”

Meanwhile Limerick boss Maurice Horan has injury worries over midfielder Jim Donovan (hamstring) and attacker Stephen Kelly (knee) ahead of Sunday’s Munster SFC quarter-final tie against Waterford in the Gaelic Grounds but is hopeful the pair will be fit to play. Horan will be without midfield talisman John Galvin but Ballylanders player Tom Lee is back in the squad after spending time in Australia.

“John Galvin is obviously out but Stephen Kelly and Jim Donovan are big concerns for us. Jim has a hamstring injury. He’s been training away but we’re not 100% sure about it.”

LAOIS (SF v Longford): D Culliton; C Healy, K Lillis, P O’Leary; D Strong, S Julian, C Boyle; J O’Loughlin, B Quigley; K Meaney, B Sheehan, C Begley; R Munnelly, P Clancy, G Walsh.

ROSCOMMON (SF v Galway): G Claffey; S McDermott, N Carty, S Purcell; C Dineen, P Domican, I Kilbride; M Finneran, K Mannion; D Keenan, C Cregg, J Rogers; S Kilbride, D McDermott, D Shine.

ANTRIM (SH v Westmeath): DD Quinn; J Kerr, C Carson, A Graffin; M Gettens, N McManus, N McAuley; B McAuley, P Shiels; M Herron, B McFall, E McCloskey; D Hamill, L Watson, S McNaughton.

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