New Laois manager Sean Cuddy has persuaded Niall Rigney to return to the squad. Near the end of Padraig Horan's reign as manager, Rigney announced that he was taking a year off from hurling because of work commitments but he has been enticed back by the new manager. Rigney is listed amongst the substitutes for next Sunday's National Hurling League clash with Waterford while several other players who also left the squad are back and in the team for the game at Portlaoise.

The Cuddy twins Paul and David, Bill Maher and Liam Tynan all return to the county colours. Elsewhere, Offaly will be without Kevin Kinahan, Brian Whelahan and Hubert Rigney for their game with Clare at Birr. Fergal Hegarty is out of the Clare team after picking up a hamstring injury against Limerick on Sunday.

Dublin midfielder Dermot McInerney is doubtful for the game against Limerick in Kilmallock because of a hamstring injury while Stephen Perkins is sitting exams all this week but should be available for selection. Dave Sweeney is almost certain to return to the team after a six weeks lay off with a broken finger.

In other news, in the second of the day's major sponsorship deals Guinness have announced that they are extending their sponsorship of the All-Ireland Hurling Championship by another 5 years in a deal said to be worth some £10 million.