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big changes Shane O’Neill shuffles Galway deck for Déise clash while top Cat TJ sits out Laois tie


Austin Gleeson: Centre-back for Waterford against Galway tomorrow. Photo: Sportsfile

Austin Gleeson: Centre-back for Waterford against Galway tomorrow. Photo: Sportsfile

Austin Gleeson: Centre-back for Waterford against Galway tomorrow. Photo: Sportsfile

Shane O’Neill has shuffled the Galway deck considerably with a number of intriguing positional switches as the Tribesmen welcome Waterford to Pearse Stadium tomorrow for their Allianz HL Division 1 Group A clash.

Gearóid McInerney returns to the heart of the Galway defence with the Oranmore-Maree clubman named at centre-back while Joe Canning continues at midfield, but O’Neill has opted to experiment in attack.

Adrian Tuohey reverts to half-forward having excelled at wing-back in their opening games while Seán Loftus is parachuted into the other wing having predominantly played this campaign at corner-back.

Their opponents also show plenty of changes with Shaun O’Brien replacing Billy Nolan between the posts, while Shane McNulty returns at corner-back and Seamus Keating gets another chance to impress at half-back.

Austin Gleeson starred at centre-back in their defeat of reigning All-Ireland champions Limerick two weeks ago and the former Hurler of the Year is expected to remain in that key berth having played their opening game in attack.

The Bennett brothers – Stephen, Shane and Kieran – are all named to start in attack alongside Neil Montgomery, Dessie Hutchinson and Jack Prendergast as Liam Cahill’s men seek three league wins in succession.

Brian Cody will go into battle without TJ Reid for the second time this season with their talismanic attacker not featured in the Kilkenny side to face Laois in their Division 1 Group B meeting at Nowlan Park tomorrow.

The Ballyhale Shamrocks ace is not part of the match-day 26 with former All-Star full-back Joey Holden in for his first start this year, while Huw Lawlor switches to centre-back as the Cats bid to make it four wins from four.

Meanwhile, Tipperary captain Séamus Callanan makes his first start of the season in the Premier’s Group 1A clash against Westmeath in Cusack Park tomorrow having overcome a back injury which has hindered the Drom-Inch ace’s season thus far.

Waterford (SH v Galway) – S O Brien; C Gleeson, C Prunty, S McNulty; C Lyons, A Gleeson, S Keating; J Barron, J Dillon; N Montgomery, Shane Bennett, K Bennett; D Hutchison, Stephen Bennett, J Prendergast.

Galway – E Murphy; S Cooney, Dáithí Burke, D Morrissey; P Mannion, G McInerney, F Burke; J Coen, J Canning; A Tuohey, C Mannion, S Loftus; C Whelan, C Cooney, B Concannon.

Kilkenny (SH v Laois) – E Murphy; T Walsh, J Holden, P Deegan; D Corcoran, H Lawlor, M Carey; R Reid, C Fogarty; A Mullen, M Keoghan, B Ryan; J Bergin, L Blanchfield, E Cody.

Tipperary (SH v Westmeath) – B Hogan; C Barrett, Pádraic Maher, B Heffernan; R Byrne, B Maher, B McGrath; M Breen, P Cadell; D McCormack, Noel McGrath, Willie Connors; J McGrath, S Callanan, J Forde.

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