Tipperary manager Liam Sheedy and former Cork boss John Meyler are set to lead the PwC All-Star 2019 and 2018 hurling teams when they head out to Abu Dhabi tomorrow.
All-Ireland champions the last two seasons, Tipperary and Limerick with the likes of Declan Hannon, Cian Lynch, Dan Morrissey, and Graeme Mulcahy will be strongly represented. However, Kilkenny’s contingent is expected to be hard hit by Ballyhale Shamrocks (TJ Reid, Colin Fennelly, and Adrian Mullen) and Tullaroan’s (Pádraig Walsh) Leinster final exploits this weekend.
Laois’s Paddy Purcell and All-Star goalkeeper nominee Enda Rowland are expected to travel as replacements as well as others from counties such as Carlow and Kildare. The exhibition game is in line to return in the United Arab Emirates this weekend with approximately 28 hurlers flying to the Middle East.
John Kiely, who would have been asked to travel as winning manager last season, is expected to reveal his training panel shortly. Apart from retirees Paul Browne and Richie McCarthy, there are expected to be a surprise omission or two as those players will instead be monitored outside the group.
Meanwhile, Ballygunner’s Barry Coughlan could make a return to the Waterford set-up just over 12 months after announcing his retirement. The 29-year-old, who impressed in his club’s run to another Munster final, stepped away from the inter-county set-up in September of last year but could feature in Liam Cahill’s 2020 plans.
A number of the Ballygunner team other than existing Déise players like the Mahony brothers Pauric and Philip are expecting to join the training panel such as in-form forward Dessie Hutchinson.
Elsewhere, Kerry’s Mikey Geaney is believed to have announced his retirement from inter-county football. A cousin of Paul, the 30-year-old steps away having claimed an All-Ireland title, seven Munster medals, and one Division 1 title.
The Dingle man was praised for his contribution to the Kingdom by his club on Twitter on Sunday: “Looking forward to seeing a lot more of @mikeygeaney in the Red & White. Thank you for the dedication and commitment you gave to Kerry down through the years. You always gave of your best and we all took great pride in seeing you in the Green & Gold. Meas mór i gcónaí a chara!”
The Meath County Board’s competitions control committee are expected to dish out heavy fines on top of suspensions to Kildalkey and Kiltale after three players from each team were sent off following a late brawl in the Brendan Davis Cup final on Saturday.