Cork face Kilkenny in League tie

Cork and Kilkenny face off today in the second phase of the National Hurling League – and Cork are without several key players as they host the Cats in a repeat of last year’s All-Ireland final at Páirc Ui Chaoimh.

Cork and Kilkenny face off today in the second phase of the National Hurling League – and Cork are without several key players as they host the Cats in a repeat of last year’s All-Ireland final at Páirc Ui Chaoimh.

Rebel boss John Allen is without Brian Corcoran, Timmy McCarthy, John Browne, Brian Murphy, Tom Kenny and Joe Deane for the tie of the round.

Twins Ben and Jerry O'Connor return, having missed the one-point win over Tipperary a fortnight ago.

Erin's Own club man Cian O'Connor moves to right corner-back to replace Browne, with Pat Mulcahy returning at left corner-back.

John Gardiner is chosen at right half-back, with skipper Seán Óg Ó hAilpín starting at left half-back. Ronan Curran lines out in the heart of defence.

Paul Tierney partners Jerry O'Connor at midfield in place of Kenny and Kevin Hartnett.

Ben O'Connor, Niall McCarthy and Neil Ronan make up the half-forward line, with Kieran Murphy, Garvan McCarthy and Jonathan O'Callaghan comprising the full-forward line.

Kilkenny attacker Henry Shefflin and defender Michael Kavanagh are injury doubts for Cats’ boss Brian Cody, who won’t finalise his team until today.

All Star Shefflin has been missing from the Cats' line-up for more than a month with a groin injury, while Kavanagh has been absent in defence for the last two matches with torn ankle ligaments.

However, team captain Peter Barry and DJ Carey are set to return to Cody's side.

Barry has been involved with his club James Stephens, who were recently crowned All-Ireland champions, while Carey has been on holidays.

Wexford hurling boss Seamus Murphy has delayed naming his side for today’s clash against Galway as he has two injury concerns.

Ace attacker Paul Carley is struggling to recover from a back injury, while goalkeeper Damien Fitzhenry is a doubt with thumb ligament damage.

However, defenders David O'Connor and Colm Kehoe look set to return following knee and hamstring injuries. Rory McCarthy and Rory Jacob are also in contention for a place in the starting fifteen.

Galway star Eugene Cloonan will line out at right half-forward for the defending champions today.

Team manager Conor Hayes re-iterated that retaining their title is not the Tribesmen’s priority, but extending their league season is most important.

Clare hurling boss Anthony Daly will wait until just before throw-in before announcing his Banner line-up to take on Tipperary in Thurles today.

Clare are without five players for the clash, while three others are struggling with injury.

Tony Griffin has returned to university in Canada, while four others were involved in U21 action yesterday.

Gerry Quinn is recovering from a hamstring injury, while Andrew Quinn and Barry Nugent are on the treatment table with groin injuries.

Meanwhile, Tipperary manager Ken Hogan has made three changes from the side that lost to Cork last time out.

Conor O’Mahoney and Paul Kelly come in to the side to form a new midfield partnership in place of the injured Tom King and Francis Devanney.

In attack, Mark O’Leary returns at wing-forward in place of Pa Morrissey.

CORK (SH v Kilkenny): D Óg Cusack; C O'Connor, D O'Sullivan, P Mulcahy; J Gardiner, R Curran, S Óg Ó hAilpín; P Tierney, J O'Connor; B O'Connor, N McCarthy, N Ronan; K Murphy, G McCarthy, J O'Callaghan.

TIPPERARY (SH v Clare): B Cummins; P Curran, P Maher, H Moloney; D Fanning, D Kennedy, E Corcoran; C O’Mahoney, P Kelly; M O’Leary, J Devane, B Dunne; E Kelly, M Webster, P O’Brien.

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