Talented Limerick forward James O'Brien has decided to focus on the club scene for 2008 and has withdrawn from the Limerick senior hurling squad ahead of next year's league campaign.
O'Brien captained the Shannonsiders this year as they qualified for the All-Ireland final for the first time since 1996 but ultimately fell at the final hurdle to Kilkenny.
The Bruree player informed manager Richie Bennis and the Limerick selectors of his decision in the past week.
He failed to hold down a starting place this year but did make regular appearances as a substitute during the championship and scored four points during the campaign.
Although not a regular in the starting line-up, O'Brien was made captain after Bruree's senior championship victory in 2006 with Damien Reale assuming the role of vice-captain.
The final year Nursing Studies student at IT Tralee has decided to put his inter-county career on hold for the moment.
O'Brien's withdrawal from the squad eases the selection headaches somewhat for Bennis who still has to try and reduce the current squad of 36 down to 30 in time for the league campaign.
O'Brien is the only withdrawal from the 2007 panel, while Mickey Cahill (Croom), Damien Cosgrave (Monaleen), Stephen Lavin (Adare), Padraig Browne (Tournafulla), Alan O'Connor (Ballybrown), Conor Fitzgerald (Adare) and David Clancy (Granagh/Ballingarry) have all been added to the squad.
Meanwhile, Limerick, the 2006 champions, have withdrawn from the 2008 Waterford Crystal Senior Hurling competition.
Limerick were due to play Cork Institute of Technology on January 6 in the first round but have opted out of the fast-approaching tournament.
The winners were to play Kerry in the quarter-finals, one week later. However, the Limerick squad and management fly out on their team holiday to Florida and Mexico on December 30 from Shannon Airport but are not due to return until January 14.
Work committments mean that Mark Foley is the only player due to miss out on the trip, with a party of 70 flying out to Florida and Mexico for the two-week break.