Cork take on Limerick in the opening fixture of the Munster Senior Hurling League in Mallow on Saturday.
Inter-county hurling is welcomed back to life before the 2017 calendar year even ends as the pre-season tournament throws in.
2018 sees the introduction of John Meyler as Cork hurling manager as he replaces the outgoing Kieran Kingston. Saturday evening will be Meyler’s first competitive game in charge of the Rebels and he will be keen to get off to winning ways.
In saying this, he has named an experimental starting XV for his opening game as Rebels boss.
Meyler has been involved as a selector under Kingston for the past couple of years, while also managing the county’s under-21 side to a narrow Munster final defeat to eventual All-Ireland winners Limerick in the Gaelic Grounds.
He has opted for players who have little experience of senior inter-county championship for Limerick’s visit to Mallow. This would indicate that the St. Finbarr’s clubman is seeking to utilise this pre-season tournament, which Cork won in 2017, as an opportunity to blood new, young talent into the setup to further boost the addidtions to the squad which were made by the emergence of youngsters such as Mark Coleman, Darragh Fitzgibbon, Shane Kingston in 2017.
The exclusion of many household names is noticeable, while the news that 2017 captain and Glen Rovers defender Stephen McDonnell will be taking a year out of inter-county action which has rocked the camp must be considered.
Here is the team Meyler has named to start his first game as Cork boss:
1. Patrick Collins – Ballinhassig
2. Sean O’Donoghue – Inniscarra
3. David Griffin – Carrigaline
4. Conor O’Sullivan – Sarsfields
5. Chris O’Leary – Valley Rovers
6. Tim O Mahony – Newtownshandrum
7. Darren Browne – Kanturk
8. Daniel Kearney – Sarsfields
9. Dean Brosnan – Glen Rovers
10. Brian Lawton – Castlemartyr
11. Robbie O’Flynn – Erins Own
12. Eoghan Finn – St Finbarr’s
13. Robert O Shea – Carrigaline
14. Michael Cahalane – Bandon
15. Jack O’Connor – Sarsfields
16. Anthony Nash – Kanturk
17. Stephen Murphy – Blackrock
18, John Cashman – Blackrock
19. Damien Cahalane – St Finbarr’s
20. Mark Coleman – Blarney
21. Darragh Fitzgibbon – Charleville
22. Seamus Harnedy – St Ita’s
23. Patrick Horgan – Glen Rovers
24. Christopher Joyce – Na Piarsaigh
25. Shane Kingston – Douglas
26. Conor Lehane – Midleton
27. Luke Meade – Newcestown
28. Colm Spillane – Castlelyons