Richie Power and Walter Walsh are unable to take their places in the Kilkenny team to face Tipperary in tomorrow’s Division 1 final in Nowlan Park — but Michael Fennelly and Michael Rice have been passed fit for the game.
In two changes from the team that beat Galway in the semi-final two weeks ago, fit-again Fennelly and Cillian Buckley come in for Power and Walsh.
Fennelly returns to midfield with Buckley named at half-forward.
Rice moves to centre forward from midfield where he played in Thurles the last day out and could end up being marked by Padraic Maher.
Rice picked up a serious hand injury and missed last September’s All-Ireland final because of the Tipperary defender’s wild swing in the semi-final.
The incident is believed to have been put to rest after Maher addressed the matter prior to Christmas when he insisted in a media interview that he never intended to hurt Rice.
The Kilkenny County Board have confirmed that the two main stands have sold out with the Carroll Stand behind the O’Loughlin Gaels end goal likely to as well.
Meanwhile, Guinness have confirmed they have stepped down as associate sponsors of the All-Ireland senior hurling championship, bringing to an end its 18-year link with the competition.
The GAA confirmed yesterday the drinks company will remain on as “proud partner” of the association and Croke Park, which will involved working on business and marketing collaborations between the trio. A replacement sponsor, which will line up alongside Centra and Etihad this summer, is expected to be announced next week.
KILKENNY (SH v Tipperary): E Murphy; P Murphy, JJ Delaney, J Tyrrell; T Walsh, B Hogan, K Joyce; L Ryan, M Fennelly; C Buckley, M Rice, E Larkin; C Fennelly, R Hogan, A Fogarty.
LEITRIM (SF v New York): C McCrann; A Wynne, F McMorrow, P Maguire; D Beck, G Reynolds, W McKeon; T Beirne, D Sweeney; P Brennan, E Mulligan, G Hickey; K Conlon, J Glancy, R Lowe.
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