Brian Cody has named his starting fifteen to face Clare in Nowlan Park, Kilkenny on Sunday at 2pm with youngster John Donnelly coming in to replace Conor Martin.
Also into the side is Robert Lennon of Bennettsbridge who comes into the half-back line, with Conor O’Shea losing out. A shake up in the forward division sees the inclusion of Richie Leahy, and Bill Sheehan.
Cody will be relieved that captain Cillian Buckley has recovered, from what looked like a nasty looking collision, and there was a real concern when he was stretchered off the field.
Buckley was inspirational for the Cats last weekend, and given the continuing absence of Richie Hogan, Colin Fennelly, Paul Murphy, et al, is the one player Kilkenny can ill-afford to do without.
TJ Reid is still off the starting XV. Reid made an appearance against Cork, but a recurrence of the problem has ruled out his involvement.
KILKENNY team to face Clare in Ennis
Joey Holden, Padraig Walsh, Paddy Deegan;
Cillian Buckley, Robert Lennon, Joe Lyng;
James Maher, Ollie Walsh;
John Donnelly, Richie Reid, Richie Leahy;
Bill Sheehan, Walter Walsh, Alan Murphy.
Also named this Friday evening was the Limerick team to face Offaly in the crucial Division 1B clash.
LIMERICK team to face Offaly
Sean Finn, Seamus Hickey, Richie English;
Diarmaid Byrnes, Dan Morrissey, Paddy O’Loughlin;
Paul Browne, Cian Lynch;
Tom Morrissey, Darragh O’Donovan, Barry O’Connell;
Aaron Gillane, Seamus Flanagan, Barry Murphy.
Also named was the Waterford side to take on Tipperary