Seamus Callanan – the team’s leading scorer – returns at centre-forward, James Woodlock is named on the left flank, while Micheal Webster is at full-forward and Noel McGrath in the right corner. The players to lose out are Gearóid Ryan, John Devane, Pa Bourke and Patrick Maher.
Conor O’Mahony is a notable absentee through injury for a game which sees the Premier county play a first “home’ League final since 1949 against Cork. Only nine of the team lined out in the March 22 game against Kilkenny in Nowlan Park.
Meanwhile, Kieran Donaghy is an injury doubt for Kerry ahead of their June 7 Munster championship semi-final. The Austin Stacks man is on crutches since the beginning of the week because of a foot injury he is believed to have had going into the NFL final against Derry. While there is no bone damage, it’s thought that he could be out of action for a month.
Tommy Walsh is also sidelined after pulling a hamstring in training with Kerins O’Rahillys on Tuesday evening. It has forced him out of tonight’s game with Gaeltacht in Tralee, but the expectation is that he will be available for the championship.
There is concern too over the lack of progress being made by Seamus Scanlon, who damaged ankle ligament in a club game recently. On the credit side Marc O Se is set to resume training.
Meanwhile, Kilkenny have delayed selection of their team until tonight, as have both Wexford and Offaly who meet in the Division Two League final (the curtain-raiser in Thurles).
Brian Cody has ruled out a comeback by Noel Hickey, who returned to club action at the weekend and indicated this week that Cha Fitzpatrick and Richie Power would hardly be fit enough to take their places.
Wexford manager Colm Bonnar delayed finalisation of his team because of doubts about the fitness of Keith Rossiter, Darren Stamp and Ciaran Kenny, while Offaly boss Joe Dooley is keeping his fingers crossed that defenders David Franks and David Kenny will be able to line out.
Fermanagh manager Malachy O’Rourke has named his squad for the May 17 Ulster championship opener against Down. It’s noteworthy for the absence of long-serving Tom Brewster, along with Colm Bradley, Rory Gallagher and Shane McCabe. Barry Owens is included but is given little chance of being fit.
The panel features two goalkeepers, 13 defenders, four midfielders and 10 forwards, see bottom.
Elsewhere, Laois chairman Brian Allen has hit out at the lack of cooperation from clubs in a County Board investigation of mass brawls which forced the abandonment of two games (Crettyard v The Heath and Portlaoise v Annanough). Insisting that such indiscipline would not be condoned, Allen expressed the fear that it could discourage young people from playing Gaelic games.
“People are going to have to stand up and tell it as it is,’ he commented. “Knowing who did something is one thing, proving it is another.
“Violence of any kind will not be condoned by our board.’’
TIPPERARY (v Kilkenny): B. Cummins; P. Stapleton, P. Curran, C. O’Brien; Padraic Maher, D. Fanning, S. Maher; T. Stapleton, S. McGrath; L. Corbett, S. Callanan, J. Woodlock; N. McGrath, M. Webster, J. O’Brien (capt).
FERMANAGH panel (v Down): Goalkeepers – C. Breen, R. Gallagher. Defenders – N. Bogue, H. Brady, R. Foy, S. Goan, P. Johnston, M. Jones, D. Kelly, S. Lyons, R. McCluskey, S. McDermott, T. McElroy, B. Owens, P. Sherry. Midfielders – R. Carson, L. McBarron, M. McGrath, J. Sherry. Forwards – P. Cadden, E. Ferris, D. Keenan, R. Keenan, D. Kille, M. Little, E. Maguire, C. McElroy, S. O’Brien, C. O’Reilly.
KILKENNY (MHC v Offaly): J. Power; J. Lyng, D. Kenny, S. Phelan; L. Harney, R. Doyle, I. Duggan; G. Brennan, J. Gannon; C. Kenny, S. Kehoe, C. Buckley; G, Aylward, W. Walsh, C. Maher (capt).