Kilkenny and Brian Cody have been riding off into the sunset for so long now without actually disappearing over the horizon that we have to accept that they aren’t going anywhere.

Tomorrow night in Páirc Uí Chaoimh they get a re-run at last year's All-Ireland semi-final against Cork. Neither Kilkenny nor Cork spent the winter wondering how they would cope with each other but both show signs of developing with Limerick in mind.

Kilkenny’s new-look half-back line needs more auditions. Padraig Walsh at centre-forward has been a success so far and looks like taking the pressure off the one-man show that TJ Reid has been for a couple of seasons.

Cork’s running game, speed of foot and transfer has been impressive. And while Kilkenny will ask more questions of that style than anyone else has in this year’s league, I expect, in front of a huge home crowd, that Cork will prevail.

Liam Cahill's side are expected to be one of the main challengers to Limerick's All-Ireland crown

The other semi-final is the South-East corner Clasico between Wexford and Waterford.

Wexford began the league by proving there is life after Davy when they stayed with and beat Limerick in Wexford Park.

Darragh Egan has been getting a tune out of them ever since and with Lee Chin to be back in harness before the championship, they’ve made Leinster look a little more interesting for the summer.

They are probably behind Waterford in their development though.

Liam Cahill road-tested Ballygunner’s Dessie Hutchinson and Pauric Mahony for the first time since their All-Ireland club win.

The understanding between both players will provide another blade to the most complete-looking Waterford side in some time.

With Tadhg de Búrca back pulling the strings at the heart of the Waterford defence and Mikey Kiely carrying the form from a fine Fitzgibbon Cup campaign into the full-forward line, Waterford look like the team here.

Neil McManus suffered a hamstring injury in Antrim's loss to Laois

At the other end of Division 1, Offaly take on Antrim in the relegation clash, with both sides longing to avoid the drop before championship arrives.

Five losses from five league games for each, humiliating 24 and 33-point defeats last day out, it has been a chastening experience for the pair at the top table of hurling.

Relegation play-off days can be lonely and desperate. The two teams will fight to the death but Antrim, even though they might be without their talisman Neil McManus, should have enough experience to survive.

Dónal Óg Cusack was speaking on RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland