It looks as though Clare will have to do without the hero of the 2013 All-Ireland final replay win over Cork next season.

Shane O'Donnell was virtually unheard of outside the Banner County when then-manager Davy Fitzgerald gave him a surprise start in the replay with the Rebels five years ago. And the Ennis man repaid him with a stunning 3-03 to help claim the Liam MacCarthy Cup.

It looks like O'Donnell will miss the 2019 season though, as he seems set to study in America's Harvard University, one of the most prestigious seats of learning anywhere in the world.

He will shortly start a PhD in UCC having recently graduated with a degree in genetics from the Cork college and it was announced yesterday that he had won a place to study in Harvard for a year as a Fulbright scholar.

"I have loved my 4 years studying Genetics here in UCC," he told the college's website. "In fact, I enjoyed my degree so much that I am starting a PhD here in UCC next month!"

The Fulbright scholarship scheme facilitates students from around the world to study in America and for Americans to pursue their studies in other countries. Previous scholarship recipients include a lengthy list of Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize winners.

O'Donnell isn't a regular starter under the current Clare set-up, though if he's named on the bench he is usually used as an impact substitute by joint-managers Gerry O'Connell and Donal Maloney.

He featured from the start in the Banner's recent Allianz League Division 1 quarter-final defeat to Limerick, which was notable as the first competitive game of hurling decided by a free-taking competition.