Noel McGrath starts on the bench for Tipperary

Noel McGrath has been relegated to the Tipperary bench for tomorrow’s All-Ireland SHC second round qualifier against Dublin.

McGrath, along with the injured Niall O’Meara (ankle), are the two players from the team which overcame Westmeath by 2-18 to 0-15 last weekend who have failed to retain their starting berth.

Jason Forde comes in at right half-forward, with Michael Breen moving out to midfield where he will accompany Brendan Maher. The second change in personnel sees John McGrath, dropped for the Westmeath fixture, return to the inside line.

According to former Tipperary midfielder Colm Bonnar, Ryan’s charges need to lay down a marker against Dublin if they are to re-establish their All-Ireland credentials.

Like most, the Carlow manager has been unconvinced by Tipperary’s last two performances and fears a scrappy win over Dublin in Thurles, similar to the round one victory over Westmeath, could spell doom for the reigning champions in the quarter-finals.

“With 10 minutes to go against Westmeath, the Tipp goalie made a save that could have levelled the game. Tipp would have gone on and won the game even if there had been a goal but it has created a bit of uncertainty. It’s about a performance now and Tipperary sending out a statement that they’re in good fettle.”

Bonnar was taken aback by just how much Tipperary conceded to Cork. “2-27 is silly. That last goal, there were two Tipp men under it and they let the Cork man (Michael Cahalane) in behind. At the level they’re playing at, it’s something they cannot afford. It will cause serious question marks if they don’t get over this one and not put in a good performance.”

Elsewhere, Galway football manager Kevin Walsh has confirmed that a back injury has ruled Sean Armstrong out of the starting 15 for Sunday’s Connacht final against Roscommon. But there are still hopes that the 31-year old, who landed six dead-ball efforts against Mayo, might be included among the substitutes for Sunday.

On the Waterford hurling team to face Kilkenny, Jake Dillon replaces Maurice Shanahan. There is no starting berth for Stephen Bennett who missed the Offaly game through suspension.

Tipperary:

D Mooney; D Maher, T Hamill, J Barry; J O’Dwyer, R Maher, P Maher; B Maher, M Breen; J Forde, P Maher, D McCormack; J O’Dwyer, S Callanan, J McGrath.

Waterford:

S O’Keeffe; S Fives, B Coughlan, N Connors; T de Búrca, A Gleeson, Philip Mahony; J Barron, C Gleeson; K Moran, Pauric Mahony, J Dillon; Shane Bennett, M Walsh, D Fives.



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