Rathdowney-Errill players James Ryan and Paddy McCane will make their first Laois senior league starts in this Sunday’s Allianz Hurling League Division 1B opening round game against Limerick.
Ryan is named at midfield where he will partner club-mate Paddy Purcell while McCane is in the full-forward alongside another Rathdowney-Errill man, captain Ross King, and Neil Foyle.
Indeed there are six Rathdowney-Errill players in the starting team with Jack Kelly and Eric Killeen named as the two wing-backs.
Ballinakill’s Podge Lawlor makes his league return after an injury-disrupted 2017 campaign while Matthew Whelan at centre-back and Neil Foyle at full-forward will make their first competitive starts of 2018.
Laois begin their league campaign away to Limerick this Sunday. The game throws in in the Gaelic Grounds at 2.30pm and is the start of a hectic week for Eamonn Kelly’s side who host All Ireland champions Galway in O’Moore Park six days later.
Limerick have also named their team for Sunday’s game and it includes three players making their debuts – wing-back Paddy O’Loughlin, full-forward Seamus Flanagan and inform free-taker Aaron Gillane.
Despite being without the Na Piarsaigh players who are in the All Ireland club semi-final, they have named a strong side that includes well-known players Nickie Quaid, Seamus Hickey, Cian Lynch and captain Paul Browne.
The Laois team in full is: Enda Rowland (Abbeyleix); Lee Cleere (Clough-Ballacolla), Leigh Bergin (Shanahoe), Podge Lawlor (Ballinakill); Jack Kelly (Rathdowney-Errill), Matthew Whelan (Borris-Kilcotton), Eric Killeen (Rathdowney-Errill); Paddy Purcell (Rathdowney-Errill), James Ryan (Rathdowney-Errill); Ben Conroy (Slieve Bloom), Cha Dwyer (Ballinakill), Cian Taylor (Portlaoise); Ross King (Rathdowney-Errill), Neil Foyle (Borris-Kilcotton), Paddy McCane (Rathdowney-Errill)
The Limerick team is: Nickey Quaid; Tom Condon, Seamus Hickey, Richie English; Diarmaid Byrnes, Dan Morrissey, Paddy O’Loughlin; Cian Lynch, Paul Browne; Tom Morrissey, Darragh O’Donovan, Barry O’Connell; Aaron Gillane, Seamus Flanagan, Gearoid Hegarty.