John Kiely has made six changes to his Limerick side for the visit of Waterford to LIT Gaelic Grounds on Saturday in a repeat of last year’s Allianz Hurling League final.
The reigning champions dispatched Galway two week’s ago at the Ennis Road venue on a scoreline of 1-19 to 0-14 but only nine starters from that game retain their place.
Fresh from their Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup exploits with LIT and DCU Dóchas Éireann respectively, Darren O’Connell and Brian Ryan are set to make their first Allianz League starts for Limerick against Waterford. Aaron Gillane also makes his return to the starting XV with the forward trio replacing Graeme Mulcahy, David Reidy and David Dempsey, the goal scorer from that win a fortnight ago.
In midfield, vice-captain Cian Lynch takes his place alongside Will O’Donoghue with Darragh O’Donovan dropping to the bench.
The final two changes are in defence where Mike Casey makes his return from injury to replace Richie English who suffered a knock against Galway while Diarmuid Byrnes is named in place of Dan Morrissey in the half-back line. Despite also being forced off the pitch in that eight-point victory, captain Declan Hannon retains his spot in the team.
On the bench is former Young Hurler of the Year Kyle Hayes who is expected to make his first appearance of the season having recovered from an injury sustained during UL’s Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup win over Maynooth last month.
Limerick and Waterford remain unbeaten in this year’s Allianz League competition thus far. Nothing separates the sides in the current Division 1 table standings with both teams leading on four points.
Throw-in on Saturday in LIT Gaelic Grounds is at 7pm. The game will be broadcast live on eir Sport 1 with coverage beginning at 6.45pm.
Limerick team v Waterford: Nickie Quaid; Sean Finn, Mike Casey, Aaron Costello; Diarmaid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Barry Nash; Cian Lynch, William O’Donoghue; Gearoid Hegarty, Tom Morrissey, Brian Ryan; Aaron Gillane, Seamus Flanagan, Darren O’Connell.
Replacements: Barry Hennessy, Josh Considine, David Dempsey, Robbie Hanley, Kyle Hayes, Dan Morrissey, Graeme Mulcahy, Darragh O’Donovan, Brian O’Grady, Mark Quinlan, David Reidy.