Savage, aged 26, was prolific throughout the recent championship which ended in defeat for O’Rahillys to Tralee rivals Austin Stacks last week.
He hasn’t featured for Kerry since 2018 when he was a substitute in a league match against Monaghan in Inniskeen, having been involved in both All-Ireland semi-finals, draw and replay, against Mayo the previous summer.
Savage will be joined in making a return after a long absence by former goalkeeper Shane Ryan and Andrew Barry, neither of whom have been involved since 2018.
Barry, brother of Jack, was centre-back on O’Connor’s All-Ireland-winning minor teams in 2014 and 2015 and was man of the match in the recent Kerry intermediate final when Na Gaeil, yet another Tralee team, defeated Beaufort.
Ryan’s last game was the 2018 All-Ireland quarter-final round-robin game against Galway which they lost and he subsequently made way for Brian Kelly.
But Jack Sherwood, who has been in and out of Kerry squads since 2013, looks to have stepped away, according to
O’Connor has always been open to recalling players after lengthy absences from the inter-county game. Mike McCarthy and Eoin Brosnan were both coaxed back after departure or retirement in O’Connor’s second term, while William Kirby came back after a two-year break to win an All-Ireland in 2004, O’Connor’s first year in charge.
Not surprisingly, Stefan Okunbor has also been called up after his three-year spell in Geelong as an AFL player ended earlier this year.
Austin Stacks captain and full-back Dylan Casey has been rewarded for his fine county championship form with a call-up, as has his defensive colleague Jack O’Shea. A third Stacks player, Greg Horan, will also be involved having been briefly with an Eamonn Fitzmaurice squad in 2018.
There are places on the squad for two East Kerry players too, Dan O’Donoghue, another of O’Connor’s 2014 minors, and Darragh Roche.
Meanwhile, Paddy Brophy, another former AFL player, is among a number of departures from Glenn Ryan’s Kildare squad for 2022.
Brophy, who brought his AFL career to an end in 2017, is understood to be intending to travel in 2022 and has signalled that he will not be available.
Also gone is Luke Flynn, younger brother of Daniel, who featured against Dublin at midfield in this year’s Leinster football final.
In Galway, Peter Cooke won’t be part of Pádraic Joyce’s 2022 squad as he too will be out of the country. Cooke did not feature in 2020 either as he was based in the US for work
. But there will be a return for Cillian McDaid who was not part of the squad for much of last year.
McDaid has not played a competitive game since the 2020 Connacht final more than 12 months ago.