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Clare v Galway: A Combined XV Ahead Of Saturday’s Semi-Final

Clare and Galway are first up in the All Ireland semi-finals and with some incredible players on both sides, it’s sure to be a thrilling encounter. We’ve picked an exceptional join XV from the two teams.

1 Donal Tuohy

Donal Tuohy has been in fine form for the Banner this summer and just edges in front of James Skehill for the goalkeeper spot. He made some great saves against Wexford in the quarter final and his puck-outs have been a key element for the Clare set-up.

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2 Patrick O’Connor

The Clare captain is one of the most in-form corner-backs in the business at the moment. The Tubber man has took to his leadership role with ease and is fearless in defence, often putting himself in harm’s way. Is not afraid to make a run forward either to set up an attack.

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3 Daithi Burke 

What more needs to be said about Daithi Burke? Not only is he the best full-back in the game at the moment but he is also one of the best hurlers. He is rock-solid, making life very easy for James Skehill and he always produces a masterclass under the high ball.

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4 John Hanbury

Another top performer for Galway this year has been John Hanbury. He looks so comfortable at corner-back and has the pace and strength to overcome any forward he comes up against. Galway finally look to have a settled full-back line who are at the top of their game.

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5 Padraic Mannion

One of Galway’s most consistent players this summer and a shoo-in for an All Star award. Mannion will have his hands full with the Clare half-forward line on Saturday but the Ahascragh man is more than up for the challenge having kept TJ Reid quiet during the Leinster final draw.

Leinster GAA Senior Hurling Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin 3/7/2016 Kilkenny vs Galway Kilkenny's Conor Fogarty with Padraic Mannion of Galway Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

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6 Conor Cleary

Conor Cleary has really made his mark on the Clare defence this season and has helped to steady the ship. He is a very physical player who is smart on the ball. He was the launchpad for a number of successful Clare attacks in the Munster Championship.

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7 Gearoid McInerney 

He may be out of position but we had to make room for Gearoid McInerney. He has been a top performer for Galway for a number of seasons now and his battle with Tony Kelly is sure to be an exciting one. He is the man at the heart of the Galway defence and so much of their play.

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8 Colm Galvin

Colm Galvin is probably a player who doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves for what he does for Clare, simply because we are so used to seeing him play at such a high standard. He is excellent at fielding, his vision and delivery is exceptional and is always good for a point or two in a game.

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9 David Burke

The Galway captain has always been the reliable man-in-the-middle who delivers time and again. His work rate is incredible and covers a huge amount of ground every game. He is so physical and hunts down every ball while he is so comfortable shooting from a distance.

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10 Peter Duggan

Duggan has been in blistering form for Clare during this championship, not only from placed balls but from open play. Some of his scores in the Munster final were worthy of his end-of-career highlights reel. He adds real pace to the forward line and is so unselfish in his play.

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11 Joe Canning

Galway are no longer fully reliant on the Portumna man for scores and that has allowed Canning to play with much more freedom, allowing him to roam and chase down possession. His new role as an assistant and scorer has worked wonders for the Leinster champions.

©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

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12 Tony Kelly 

He may have had relatively quiet Munster campaign by his standards but the 24-year-old reminded us of just what he can do in the game against Wexford. When he is on form, there is no stopping him, he can score from impossible angles, perform mind-boggling tricks and win balls that he has no right to.

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13 Cathal Mannion

His performance in the Leinster final was worthy of an All Star alone. He is such a beautiful striker of the ball and does it with such ease. The 23-year-old is exceptionally pacy and skilful and adds another dimension to that full-forward line.

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14 John Conlon

His match-up with Daithi Burke will be mouth-watering. He has been sensational this summer and a nightmare to defend against. He uses his size and strength to such effect but has the pace as well. Has scored some awesome points. The 29-year-old is in the form of his life.

Allianz Hurling League Division 1B 14/2/2016 Clare vs Offaly Clare's John Conlon Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

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15 Conor Whelan

Another player who is well on his way to an All Star this season. It’s astonishing to think that Whelan is just 21 years of age, such has been his contribution to Galway hurling over the past three seasons. Some of his scores are worth the entrance fee alone. The Kinvara man is a special talent.

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Author: Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. You can contact her at marisa@punditarena.com or on Twitter