Dual star Seamus Kennedy is primed to make his senior hurling debut for Tipperary in Sunday’s Munster quarter-final against Cork at Semple Stadium.
Kennedy, 23, was a member of the Tipperary senior football squad last year but linked up with Michael Ryan’s hurling set-up at the start of the season, along with fellow dual star Steven O’Brien.
Kennedy didn’t feature throughout the Allianz Hurling League campaign and was tied up with football commitments until February.
The 2011 All-Ireland MFC medallist was a key member of the Clonmel Commercials team that stormed to Munster glory late last year, before losing out to champions Ballyboden St Enda’s at the All-Ireland semi-final stage.
With Barry Heffernan ruled out with concussion for Sunday’s game, a vacancy has arisen at right-half-back.
Kennedy, who’s shown up well in A v B matches, is tipped to fill it, a move that would see Kieran Bergin left on the bench.
If Kennedy starts, he will join brothers Ronan and Pádraic Maher in the Tipp half-back line, with Cathal Barrett, James Barry and Michael Cahill occupying the full-back line positions.
Captain Brendan Maher will partner Michael Breen at midfield, with Jason Forde, Patrick Maher and John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer predicted to make up the half-forward division.
Inside, another championship debutant, John McGrath, will line out alongside brother Noel and Seamus Callanan. Despite carrying a persistent knee injury, former All-Star goalkeeper Darren Gleeson will get the nod between the sticks.
Meanwhile, indications from the Cork camp are that Christopher Joyce will line out at full-back next Sunday— in a man-marking role on Callanan.
Cork have been busy working on a defensive system to counteract Tipp’s potentially lethal forwards and it’s understood that William Egan will play in the sweeper role.
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