The first game of the 2018 inter-county hurling season will take place this Saturday, December 30 – yes, in 2017 – when the Laois hurlers travel to Newbridge to take on Kildare in the opening round of the Walsh Cup.
Laois are in a three-team group with Kilkenny and will play the Cats in O’Moore Park on Wednesday night, January 3.
And following practice games against Kerry, Tipperary and Westmeath, Laois manager Eamonn Kelly has named his team for the clash with Kildare.
There are first competitive senior starts for 2017 minor dual star Ciaran Comerford from The Harps while Rathdowney-Errill duo Paddy McCane and James Ryan are also in line for their first senior outing. Six Rathdowney-Errill players in total are named.
Recently-crowned senior club player of the year Joe Phelan from Camross is named at corner-back.
The Laois v Kildare game is at 2pm in the Hawkfield grounds in Newbridge on Saturday. The Laois footballers, meanwhile, take on Westmeath in TEG Cusack Park in Westmeath at the same time.
LaoisToday will be providing a live blog of both games on Saturday afternoon.
LAOIS: Enda Rowland (Abbeyleix); Lee Cleere (Clough-Ballacolla), Podge Lawlor (Ballinakill), Joe Phelan (Camross); Jack Kelly (Rathdowney-Errill), James Ryan (Rathdowney-Errill), Eric Killeen (Rathdowney-Errill); Paddy Purcell (Rathdowney-Errill), Cian Taylor (Portlaoise); Sean Downey (Ballinakill), Cha Dwyer (Ballinakill), Aidan Corby (Clough-Ballacolla); Paddy McCane (Rathdowney-Errill), Ross King (Rathdowney-Errill), Ciaran Comerford (The Harps)