In just a week and a half, Tipperary and Cork will face off in the first round of the Munster Championship. The Rebels were hammered in this fixture last year, and will want to make a serious statement.
The manner in which the Premier were beaten by Galway in the League final will offer Kieran Kingston’s side hope, but it will also act as a wake-up call to Tipp and many are expecting a backlash.
However, Michael Ryan’s forward line could be severely depleted.
Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher is a doubt for the game, having sustained a hamstring injury in the latest round of club matches. Speaking at the launch of the Munster Championship in Killarney on Monday, manager Ryan stated that “the extent of that [injury] is not known right now.”
Jason Forde is to be suspended unless a successful appeal is carried, due to his altercation with Davy Fitzgerald in the League semi-final.
Meanwhile, Seamus Callanan is a minor doubt for the game. He will return to training this week, but must prove his fitness. Ryan is hopeful that the Drom-Inch sharpshooter will return for Sunday week.
Nonetheless, the Premier have huge talent at their disposal. Even if they are without the trio of Forde, Maher and Callanan, they are more than capable of fielding six top-class forwards.
A potential forward line could still consist of Niall O’Meara, Steven O’Brien, Dan McCormack, John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer, John McGrath and Noel McGrath.
Cork will have to be at their very best to cause what would be a massive upset.