Tipperary take on Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final on Sunday, with one big talking point arising ahead of Michael Ryan’s selection.
In the Munster semi-final, John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer was sent off, which meant he was suspended for the final. The Premier had too much firepower up front for Waterford, and Bubbles consequentially could not break back into the team for the All-Ireland semi-final against Galway.
When introduced from the bench, the Killenaule man swung the game in Tipp’s favour, and most are anticipating that he will be back in the starting line-up for the decider.
However, 2010 Hurler of the Year Lar Corbett, speaking to the Irish Examiner, doesn’t think Bubbles should start against Kilkenny.
“Being asked a direct question, I’ll give you a direct answer… I wouldn’t start Bubbles, and I’ll give you the reason why: It’s because you need someone like Bubbles when the game goes into the melting pot just after half-time. When he came on the last time, we all knew something magic was going to happen, and we believed ourselves it was going to happen and, when you believe like that, players believe it as well, so it’s a lift, not just as spectators, not us as media, but to players.
“We all need a bit of a lift, so when he came on it created a bit of magic. Now, if you want to start the bit of magic, who is going to come on to do a Bubbles job?
“Now, we do have players on the sideline, but do we have someone with the bit of experience, do we have someone who we believe is capable of doing that job when they come on?”
“I always believe that your first forward coming on should be better than your last forward starting, because you want him as a game-changer, you want him to do something that maybe hasn’t been done in the first 40 minutes.”
This may be a controversial analysis, as many believe that Michael Ryan must start with the best team available to him, and in that regard, Bubbles may be a shoo-in.