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Michael Fennelly back in for Kilkenny as Brian Cody wields axe after Leinster final defeat

Updated: Sunday, 29 Jul 2012 14:48 | Comments

Michael Fennelly has recovered from his ankle problems
Michael Fennelly has recovered from his ankle problems

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody has wielded the axe ahead of Sunday’s All-Ireland quarter-final clash with Limerick at Semple Stadium.

The Cats were surprisingly well-beaten in the Leinster final by Galway, and Cody has reacted by making five changes.

Some are not all that surprising, with fit-again JJ Delaney returning to full-back in place of Noel Hickey.

Centre-back Brian Hogan has been struggling with a leg injury he picked up in a club game, and he is replaced by Kieran Joyce.

There is a complete revamp at midfield, with Michael Fennelly and Michael Rice taking over from Cillian Buckley and Paddy Hogan.

The engine room was one of Kilkenny’s weakest areas against the Tribesmen, and Cody was always going to bring his first-choice partnership back in, if they were fit and able.

Fennelly, who was the 2011 Hurler of the Year, will be making his first Championship appearance of the summer, as he has been sidelined since he sustained an ankle injury in the Allianz League final victory over Cork.

There are a host of positional changes in attack, but the only switch in personnel sees Aidan Fogarty come in at the expense of TJ Reid.

Kilkenny (SH v Limerick): David Herity; Paul Murphy, JJ Delaney, Jackie Tyrell; Tommy Walsh, Kieran Joyce, Richie Doyle; Michael Fennelly, Michael Rice; Eoin Larkin, Richie Power, Henry Shefflin; Colin Fennelly, Richie Hogan, Aidan Fogarty.

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