Tipperary manager Michael Ryan is expecting a “cracking” match on Sunday when the Premier County clash with rivals Cork (4pm) in the opening game of the 2016 Munster hurling championship.
Semple Stadium will be the venue where Tipp will look to continue their recent good run of results against the Rebels.
Should the home side prevail in Thurles it will be their 39th success in the fixture (compared to Cork’s 37) and their seventh in the last eight games between the sides.
After requiring a relegation play-off victory over Galway to avoid relegation to Division 1B and a comprehensive championship defeat to the same opposition last season, the bookmakers expect Tipp to emerge victorious, but Ryan is expecting the Rebels to bring out the best in his side.
"I think the Cork jersey brings out the best in us"
“It means an awful lot to the people of the Tipperary,” he told RTÉ Sport when asked about one of the great traditional hurling rivalries.
“I think the Cork jersey brings out the best in us and we expect a cracking match anytime Tipp and Cork meet. I think this will be no different on Sunday.”
Some observers have questioned the direction of the ancient game given the defensive strategies that have become commonplace, but Ryan, who was part of the backroom team when Tipp last tasted All-Ireland success in 2010, says supporters can expect an attacking game on Sunday.
”We play a brand of hurling that suits the players, number one, and is quite traditional," he said. "This will be a fast, furious game with Cork and hopefully with a real high degree of entertainment and skills on show.”
His Cork counterpart Kieran Kingston is bullish of his side's chances despite five losses in the Allianz National League and says Thurles holds no fears for his side.
“It’s a huge ask for us against one of the top teams in the country,” he admitted.
“We’ll have to put in a very good performance to compete with Tipp. We know that. At the same time, we’re not going to make up the numbers.
“We like going to Thurles. It’s kind of a home from home, so I don’t think that’s going to be any disadvantage to us.”
Dublin v Wexford (Saturday 7.15pm) and Tipperary v Cork (Sunday 4pm) will be shown live on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player, with live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 and live blogs on RTE.ie