Pat Ryan: Cork U21s can alert senior selectors

Cork senior hurling selector Pat Ryan doesn’t envisage any of the Rebel U21s jumping into contention for a senior starting place against Dublin in the All-Ireland hurling qualifiers this weekend, but the senior management will still take the U21s’ form against Limerick tonight (Páirc Uí Rinn, 7.30pm) into consideration when picking the side to face Dublin.

“I don’t think anyone would be starting, but going back to our play-off against Galway, Darragh Fitzgibbon and Mark Coleman were on the panel that day,” said Ryan.

“There’s talent coming through. We’ll see how the U21s go but as regards bringing them straight onto the team, I wouldn’t see that happening.

“If a player is going well enough and shows well enough — and hopefully we’ll get a victory tonight — then there’s no reason why players can’t jump onto the panel.

“Being realistic, we’re only sitting down to pick the team tonight because we want to see how that game goes and how players perform in it.”

Ryan added that team captain Stephen McDonnell is making progress but Saturday night may come too soon for the Glen Rovers man. McDonnell’s elbow was broken in a challenge game against Clare in May.

“Stephen is making good progress. We’re not sure yet whether he’ll be able to play a part on Saturday night but he’s certainly worked hard on his own fitness.

“He’s going back to the specialist today and we’ll know more, but Saturday night may come too soon for him. Obviously, if we don’t think he’s right, we won’t play him, but he’s captain and very anxious to be part of it.

“Stephen Murphy is out — he broke his jaw recently so he won’t be considered. He was going well in training but unfortunately his injury rules him out.”


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