Henry Shefflin and Michael Fennelly will start on the Kilkenny team to play Cork in the All-Ireland senior hurling quarter-final in Thurles tomorrow.
The Ballyhale Shamrocks pair have been battling to regain full fitness after a series of injuries but manager Brian Cody included them in what is arguably the Cats’ stronger team of the season, as they bid to make the All-Ireland semi-finals for a 17th successive season.
Shefflin is picked at corner-forward for what will be his first start since winning a ninth All-Ireland in the replayed final against Galway last year.
In all, Kilkenny make three changes from the team that scored an extra-time victory over Waterford in the qualifiers. Shefflin, Fennelly and Buckley come in for Michael Rice, Matthew Ruth and Aidan Fogarty, who are all named in the subs.
Meanwhile, Galway manager Anthony Cunningham has made six changes from the side which went down to Dublin in the Leinster final for tomorrow’s All-Ireland quarter-final against Clare.
Goalkeeper James Skehill is one of six players axed in addition to several positional changes, including the two central defensive positions.
Colm Callanan has been drafted in between the posts, with Gort’s Jason Grealish coming in at wing-back in place of Joseph Cooney. The defensive positional changes see captain Fergal Moore move to full-back with Kevin Hynes in the corner. David Collins takes over at centre-back and Shane Kavanagh moves to the wing.
There is a new midfield partnership with Aidan Harte and Andy Smith taking over from Iarla Tannian and James Regan. Up front, Jonathan Glynn comes in for Davy Glennon at wing-forward with Damian Hayes recalled at top of the right as Cyril Donnell drops to the bench.
GALWAY (SH v Calre): C Callanan; K Hynes, F Moore, J Coen; S Kavanagh, D Collins, J Grealish; A Harte, A Smith; D Burke, C Cooney, J Glynn; D Hayes, J Canning, N Burke.
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