RTÉ's South East Correspondent Conor Kane reports from Kilkenny and Tipperary as the old rivals prepare to face off in another All-Ireland hurling final at Croke Park.

The flags and bunting are up, the blue and gold jerseys are flying out of the shops and the scramble for tickets is in full throttle as Tipperary prepare for Sunday's All-Ireland hurling final.

The Premier County are going for their third senior title of the decade, and 28th in all, and while they may be slight favourites with the bookmakers, no Tipp fan facing Kilkenny is ever over-confident.

This will be the counties' seventh meeting in an All-Ireland decider since 2009, including a draw in 2014, and Tipp have won just two of those matches, while Kilkenny also beat them in their two other, earlier, championship games during that time.

If Tipperary do win on Sunday, they will join the ranks of the county's much-fated teams since they won the first senior hurling All-Ireland in 1887.

Photographs of all of those sides are currently on display at Clonmel Library.

The library also has a display of some of the more recent Tipp jerseys and has put out an appeal for local clubs to send in one of their jerseys to add to the colour and to coincide with Heritage Week, which runs from Saturday until Sunday week.

Part of a special exhibition of jerseys and memorabilia at Clonmel Library

"We want to display one jersey/singlet of each team to showcase past times of sport in and around the town [Clonmel] for one week," the library tweeted yesterday.

Friday has been dubbed "Tipperary Day" and while the schools may be still on holidays, many young and old are expected to be wearing their blue and gold colours.

This year, the Tipperary team will be captained by a man from the Drom and Inch club, located in the area known as The Ragg, for the first time.

Young members of Drom and Inch GAA Club

Seamus Callanan, who has scored a goal in every game in the current campaign, is also a contender for Hurler of the Year.

"We're very proud of having a captain of the Tipperary team," club chairman John Egan said this week.

"To have a man wearing the blue and gold any day is an honour, but to have a captain is massive."

Kilkenny were nobody's favourites for the All-Ireland senior hurling title this year and the gap of four years since their last success is the longest hiatus of the Brian Cody era, but the Cats roared back in recent weeks with impressive wins over Cork and Limerick and are back in the bigtime.

If it was a surprise to many, including some of their own supporters, they've wasted no time in retrieving the black and amber colours from the attics and sheds of the county and displaying them with pride this week as the countdown continue to Sunday's decider.

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

 

Young people from Ballyhale gathered in Billys Community Tea-Rooms

Kilkenny are way ahead of the rest on the All-Ireland roll of honour and victory this weekend would make it the 37th time they have returned to the county as champions.

The usual spots around the county are now festooned with flags and bunting, with a few cats also on display.

The fans will be making the journey up the M9 and M8 in numbers on Saturday and Sunday morning, as well as watching their heroes at home when it comes to 3.30pm on Sunday afternoon.

The village of Ballyhale is providing this year's captain in the form of sharpshooter TJ Reid and a lot of the county's hopes will be resting on his shoulders if the Liam MacCarthy Cup is to make a return after a four-year "famine".

Locals in Kilkenny city getting their colours ready for Sunday

Ballyhale has been a bountiful supplier of hurling talent to the county's teams over the years, with names like Fennelly and Shefflin tripping off the tongue, and as well as the skipper they also have a live contender for Young Hurler of the Year in Adrian Mullen.

"The last 20 or 30 years have been out of this world with the amount of players we've had," club veteran Michael Hoyne told RTÉ News.

"We're really spoiled, but we don't mind!"

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences


RTÉ Sport - More on the build-up to the All-Ireland hurling final