All Ireland champions, Tipperary play host to Waterford in their third outing of the Allianz National Hurling League at Semple Stadium on Saturday night.
Declan Ryan’s side have yet to collect their first points in the competition and will be anxious to make home advantage count here as they bid to get their season back on track. The Premier county were beaten by Kilkenny in their first game of the league before finding Anthony Daly’s Dublin too strong in round two a fortnight ago.
The new manager has not had luck on his side, as he has had to plan without the services of Lar Corbett, Seamus Callanan,John ‘OBrien, Pat Kerwick and Seamus Hennessy. Corbett resumed training earlier this week but is still a few weeks off a return to action.The one piece of good news for Ryan, sees Conor O’Mahony return to the number six jersey, having missed the Dublin game.
Opponents Waterford are unbeaten this season. They had to come from behind to draw with Dublin in their league opener, before being forced to work harder than expected before eventually seeing off Wexford last time out.Similar to Tipperary, Davy Fitzgerald still has to plan without a number of star players, with John Mullane and Eoin Kelly still absent, while Tony Browne won’t return until later in the campaign.Ken McGrath may be an option for Fitzgerald after he played a challenge game midweek and showed that he is nearing full fitness.
Waterford are undoubtedly the form side at present and will prove difficult opponents, but the home side are in desperate need of the points here and that hunger may just prove sufficient to see Tipperary prevail.
Tipperary – B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Curran, M Cahill; D Young, P Maher, J O’Keeffe; B Maher, S McGrath; G Ryan, N McGrath, P Maher; P Kelly, B O’Meara, P Bourke.
Waterford – No team announced