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The Greatest Munster Hurling XV Since 2000

National Hurling League 15/4/2007 Cork vs Waterford Cork's Sean Og O'hAilpin tackles Dan Shanahan of Waterford Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

We at Pundit Arena have put together a team of the fifteen greatest Munster hurlers since the millennium. 

1. Brendan Cummins

Undoubtedly, Cummins has been the star goalkeeper in Munster since the millennium.

Although competing against some of the greatest Munster goalkeepers of all time such as Donal Óg, Davy Fitzgerald and Anthony Nash, Cummins still edges it. With Tipperary, Brendan Cummins has picked up five All-Star awards since 2000.

2. Seamus Hickey

This is a position that took up a lot of time, with many arguing Brian Murphy of Cork would have been a more suitable candidate. Since making his debut in 2006, Hickey remains one of the most consistent corner-backs in the game.

3. Diarmuid O’Sullivan


‘The Rock’ made his debut with the Rebels in 1997, but he really came to prominence during the naughties.

He was the winner of four All-Star awards in the full back position. A solid, strong full-back with Cork, who won three All-Irelands and four Munster titles.

4. Noel Connors

An absolute stalwart with Waterford. Similar to Seamus Hickey, he has often been set with the man-marking task of the opponents tally-man. As well as being consistent, strong, and reliable, Connors is an all round good hurler.

5. Sean Óg O’hailpin

Undeniably, Sean Og is deserving of his place at wing-back. He was often given the task of marking Dan Shanahan or Henry Shefflin, and more than once took it in his stride. It was always a great battle.

O’hailpín was the winner of five Munster titles and three All-Ireland titles with Cork and was one of Cork’s most influential players during their prime.

6. Ken McGrath

National Hurling League 1st Div Final, 9/4/2007 Waterford Ken McGrath Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Although he never fulfilled his dream of winning an All-Ireland with the Waterford Senior hurling team, Ken McGrath will go down in the history books as being one of the best centre-backs of all time.

Consistent, tough and physically fit are key words that come to mind when thinking about the Waterford legend.

7. Padraic Maher

At wing-back and now the current captain of the Tipperary team, Paudie Maher has been the driving force in defence of Tipperary’s success in contemporary times.

Since making his debut in 2009, Paudie has managed to pick up five Munster titles, two All-Irelands and four All-Stars. At just 27 years of age, additional honours to that list seem like an inevitabilty.

8. Jerry O’Connor

One of the fittest hurlers of the naughties era. Speed, skill, and wrist-work are all key terms that come to mind when thinking about Jerry O’Connor on the GAA pitch.

In particular, O’Connor’s performance against Clare in the 2005 All-Ireland semi-final highlighted his class and determination.

9. Tony Browne

Although playing the majority of his career since the millennium in the half back line, we simply couldn’t leave this man out.

Browne won an All-Star in ’06 and in 2007 and will go down as a Waterford great. During his 23-year long career with Waterford, Tony Browne scored a total of 4:41 in championship hurling. A Deise legend.

10. Dan Shanahan

All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Quarter Final 23/7/2006 Waterford Dan Shanahan points to the sideline after scoring Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

In hindsight, choosing the forwards was a very difficult task. This position was a competition between Shanahan, his team-mate Eoin Kelly, Ollie Moran of Limerick and Brendan Maher of Tipperary- but we opted for ‘the man’ himself.

Dan Shanahan’s prolific goal-scoring ability in big games proves his worth on this team.

11. Tony Kelly

Although still only 22 years of age, Tony Kelly simply deserves to be on this team already.

His ability to perform at the highest level, to show leadership and to display mesmerising skills against the best teams in the country is admirable. A recent article  on Pundit Arena shows that he has won everything around him and that he has the potential to be one of the greatest of all time.

12. John Mullane

The fourth Waterford man to make it on to this greatest Munster team since 2000. It’s important to note that Waterford competed in ten of the last sixteen Munster finals and that without Mullane the Waterford team wouldn’t have been as successful.

Mullane’s passion for Waterford hurling, his drive, and ability to score crucial goals against top teams seals his place on this team.

13. Eoin Kelly (Tipperary)

GAA All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final 5/9/2010 Kilkenny vs Tipperary Tipp captain Eoin Kelly lifts the Liam McCarthy Cup Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Unfortunately for Waterford, it’s the Mullinahone local that gets the nod. Tipperary’s Eoin Kelly was one of the greatest hurlers ever to grace the hurling field.

He retired in 2014 with five Munster titles, six All-Star awards, 2 National Leagues and 2 Senior All-Irelands to his name. Currently, Kelly sits at number three of the all-time scorers in championship hurling with a total of 21 goals and 368 points.

14. Seamus Callanan

One of the main talking points of the last few years, Callanan has been a pure leader for Tipperary. Since 2014, Callanan has tore teams apart on his own. In 2014, he totalled a mesmerising 9 goals and 45 points in six championship appearances.

If remembering last year’s All-Ireland success with Tipperary, Callanan scored nine points from play, out of thirteen. In recent times, he really has become a rejuvenated player and a real hassle for the opposing defence.

15. Joe Deane

All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final Cork vs Kilkenny 12/9/2004 Cork's Joe Deane with Michael Kavanagh of Kilkenny Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

The 5ft 7′ nippy corner forward was Cork’s danger man for many years as he paved the way for the rebels’ continued success. Rings of ‘Deano’ whistling from the terraces highlighted how important he was.

Undoubtedly, Joe Deane is what one could stereotypically describe as a corner-backs worst nightmare.


  • Donal Og Quasak
  • Brian Murphy
  • Ollie Moran
  • Ronan Curran
  • Michael Walsh
  • Niall Mc Carthy
  • Lar Corbett
  • Brendan Maher
  • Niall Gilligan
  • Noel Mc Grath
  • Eoin Kelly
  • Paul Flynn


We are aware that this is debatable and is mainly down to personal opinion, so we encourage you all to join in on the discussion via or Facebook and Twitter posts.

What would you change?

Jason Redmond, Pundit Arena.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.