The use of the sweeper system in hurling is just another way that the game has evolved, according to Donal Óg Cusack, who also took aim at those who felt that such an approach was disrespecting the game.

Cusack's comments came during the analysis of the Wexford-Tipperary All-Ireland hurling semi-final on The Sunday Game.

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald has used a sweeper during his time in charge, and a similar approach was adopted by former Waterford boss Derek McGrath, who was alongside the former Cork goalkeeper in the RTÉ studio.

Cusack steadfastly defended both men with the following comments: "Innovation is the lifeblood of any game. A lot of the way that Davy and Derek have been challenged it's as if they have been disrespecting the game.

"I'd actually say not to innovate is actually disrespecting the game.

"It reminds me of what's happened in the mid 2000s when it came to Gaelic football. You had a lot of intelligent coaches that were playing the game in a certain way and it was very easy to make cheap shots about puke football.

"Why weren't people asking why did people want to do this?

"The British invented a lot of games but they struggled to accept and adapt the wider influences in their games"

"Is there only one way that we should be playing the game of hurling? I don't think so. I don't want one way of playing the game. I want teams to come along with different approaches, different tactics like we saw with Wexford today."

To further emphasise his point, the three-time All-Ireland winner added: "I believe the accusation of disrespecting the tradition of the game is part of the last remnants of British culture on these islands.

"The British invented a lot of games but they struggled to accept and adapt the wider influences in their games.

"What I mean is the long ball, John Bull, Jack Charlton type spirit. I'm delighted the modern player has moved on.

"Back to our games, if you go into any modern, inter-county dressing room, they know that the game has moved on.

"Mick Mackey was one of the first players to solo the ball and you still had some players on his case.

"I bet you the same fellas that are on Davy's and Derek's case would have been on Mackey's case back in the day."