The best combined hurling team in Ireland selected

The best hurling team in Ireland chosen.

We have put together the best hurling team in the country selecting the best player in each position. We have used facts, data and form to make our selections.

Let us know what you think of our team.

Goalkeeper: Nickie Quaid (Limerick).

Nickie Quaid is a fantastic goalkeeper. The Limerick netminder has perfect distribution, great composure on the ball and is a fantastic shot-stopper.

A mistake from Quaid is as rare as hen’s teeth. The Limerick keeper is one of the best hurlers in Ireland and his save at the end of the 2018 All-Ireland semi-final helped to secure Limerick’s first title in 45 years.

Right corner-back: Sean Finn (Limerick).

Sean Finn is a very consistent performer and has turned into one of the most important players on the Limerick team.

The Bruff hurler has won three all-stars in the past three seasons and his county would be a lot weaker without him.

Limerick like to play out of defence and Finn is very skillful with an excellent first touch so he fits into John Kiely’s side very well.

Full-back: Dan Morrissey (Limerick).

Dan Morrissey ended up as a full-back by accident. The Ahane hurler slotted in the position after Mike Casey got injured and Morrissey excelled in his new role.

He has all the attributes to be a top-class defender as he is very strong and skillful. The Limerick defence is rock-solid and Morrissey contributes to that.

Left corner-back: Daithi Burke (Galway).

Daithi Burke is a dual GAA star and he has won All-Ireland medals in both codes. Burke won four All-Ireland titles with his football club Corofin and he picked up a Celtic Cross medal with the Galway hurlers in 2017.

The dual star has claimed five all-stars and is a versatile defender who’s able to operate in multiple positions.

The 28-year-old is constantly improving as well and his county will definitely fancy their chances in this year’s championship.

Right half-back: Diarmaid Byrnes (Limerick).

Limerick’s half-back line is near-flawless and Diarmaid Byrnes is one of the biggest reasons for that. Byrnes takes frees for the Treaty county as well.

The Patrickswell hurler’s excellent form in recent seasons is what has him on the best hurling team.

Centre half-back: Padraig Walsh (Kilkenny).

Padraig Walsh comes from a family steeped in hurling tradition. His brother Tommy is one of the best hurlers of all-time while his sister Grace Walsh and his cousin Miriam Walsh are two of the best players on the Kilkenny camogie side.

The Kilkenny half-back is a huge physical presence and is an excellent defender. Walsh rarely, if ever has a bad game.

Declan Hannon, Tadhg De Burca, Brendan Maher and Padraic Maher can all rightly feel aggrieved at this selection, though we feel Walsh is slightly ahead of them.

Left half-back: Kyle Hayes (Limerick).

Kyle Hayes changed positions from half-forward to half-back ahead of the 2020 season and it was an inspired switch.

Hayes lit up the championship at wing-back and combined superbly with his teammates to score what would have been the best goal in hurling history, only for an excellent double save by Stephen O’Keefe.

 

The Kildimo-Pallaskenry hurler has pace to burn and is very tall and physical. Hayes is one of the best players in the country.

Midfield: Cian Lynch (Limerick).

Cian Lynch looked set to be a star ever since he made his debut in 2015. The Limerick hurler has great skill and composure in possession.

Lynch’s first real breakthrough season came in 2018 when he was named hurler of the year as Limerick won the All-Ireland.

He is one of many fantastic hurlers that the All-Ireland champions possess.

Midfield: Tony Kelly (Clare).

Tony Kelly is a joy to watch. It is not a stretch to say he is the best Clare hurler of all time. Kelly has all the attributes and is a consistent performer.

The Ballyea player comes across as a real gentleman as well. In 2013 he was immense as Clare won the All-Ireland.

It is hard to know if the Banner county are All-Ireland contenders, but what is certain is that they will need Kelly to be at his very best if they are to have any chance of success.

Right half-forward: Joe Canning (Galway).

Joe Canning is a contender for the greatest hurler of all time. The Galway star is one hurler who people would give their last penny to see in full-flow.

Watching Canning at his best is like watching poetry in motion. No genuine hurling person could begrudge the Portumna ace the sole All-Ireland medal that came his way in 2017.

Canning deserves his place on the best hurling team.

Centre half-forward: TJ Reid (Kilkenny).

The same plaudits thrown at Joe Canning could be given to T.J. Reid. The Kilkenny great is similar to Canning in terms of his hurling ability.

They are both top class hurlers and Reid is also a contender for the greatest of all time.

Reid has won seven All-Ireland senior titles with Kilkenny throughout his hurling career and it is very hard to see how the Leinster champions will win one national title after Reid hangs up his hurl.

Left half-forward: Gearoid Hegarty (Limerick).

Gearoid Hegarty is the current hurler of the year. He suits the Limerick game plan perfectly as he is physical and can win a lot of 50/50 balls while also having a perfect first touch.

Hegarty is similar to a lot of Limerick players in the sense that he has multiple standout attributes that make him an excellent hurler.

Right corner-forward: Patrick Horgan (Cork).

Patrick Horgan is very likely to end his career as the best Cork hurler never to win an All-Ireland medal.

However, that is to take absolutely nothing away from his career. Horgan is a joy to watch and has a supernatural hurling ability.

The 33-year-old plays for Glen Rovers – the same club as the great Christy Ring and it is not unfair to compare the two based on their hurling ability.

Full-forward: Seamus Callanan (Tipperary).

Seamus Callanan was named hurler of the year in 2019 after starring in Tipperary’s All-Ireland success. Callanan could have won player of the season in various years before that as well.

Tipperary look outstanding when they do play well and Callanan almost always plays a big part in his county’s victories.

Tipperary have won three All-Ireland’s since 2010 although there is a small sense of under-achievement considering the crop of young players coming through in that period were considered exceptional.

Callanan has certainly fulfilled his potential though and he deserves his place in our best hurling team.

Left corner-forward: Aaron Gillane (Limerick).

Aaron Gillane is incredibly quick and fast while he also is very accurate and skillful. The Patrickswell hurler fits in perfectly to the Limerick side and Gillane is also an accomplished free-taker.

He is one hurler who has the potential to be one of the best to ever play the game. The Limerick machine shows no signs of slowing down and Gillane is an integral part of the operation.

Best hurling team in Ireland.

Nickie Quaid; Sean Finn, Dan Morrissey, Daithi Burke; Diarmuid Byrnes, Padraig Walsh, Kyle Hayes; Cian Lynch, Tony Kelly; Joe Canning, T.J. Reid, Gearoid Hegarty; Patrick Horgan, Seamus Callanan, Aaron Gillane.

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