Limerick boss John Kiely has warned his All-Ireland hurling champions that the spring will bring a whole new set of challenges as they look to defend the three titles they won in 2020.

The Treaty County lifted the Liam MacCarthy in December with a win over Waterford to cap a dream year that also saw them claim the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 crown and glory in Munster.

Last Tuesday the GAA confirmed there will be no collective training permitted for inter-county teams for at least the remainder of January, which will likely mean the league - due to start at the end of February - will be pushed back.

While Kiely said he wanted his triumphant charges to enjoy their success, he's also keen to keep the group's feet on the ground.

"That's just been a bit of narrative for the last couple of weeks," he told RTÉ's Saturday Sport when asked about talk his team could dominate for the next few years.

"It generally dissipates once you’ve got a couple of kicks in the backside in the league in the spring time! 

"I've no doubt that reality checks will be only around the corner for these lads. I'd hope the competition within the group for securing their place on the team... Richie English back now competing for a place, Mikey Casey hopefully will be back in 2021 towards the middle of May... that back six department has become very competitive now over the course of 2020. 

"That's going to bring its own internal battles. They're always good to keep fellahs' eyes on what's important.

"Right throughout the team I'd hope fellahs will bring a challenge to get on to that team, to stay on that team, to get on to that panel, stay on that panel. That's where the players' focus should be."

Limerick were superb in the winter championship, looking well ahead of the pack in most facets of their game. 

Kiely stressed that staying on top will be pose different sort of challenge, and he's keen to enjoy the journey.

"We're the masters of our own destiny," he added.

"We never look far ahead. We're always looking to the next game, trying to enjoy the next game and to enjoy the time between now and that next game. Enjoyment for me is the key thing for this group.

"We want to continue to enjoy our hurling, continue to enjoy being together as a group. It won't be there forever. We'll try to enjoy as much of it as we can for as long as we can."