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LIVE BLOG: Laois hurlers take on Wexford in opening round of Allianz Hurling League

We’ve still a week to go in the month of January but today brings the start of the Allianz National Hurling League.

Eddie Brennan’s men take on Wexford in the recently renamed MW Hire O’Moore Park at 7pm.

Wexford arrive in Portlaoise as the reigning Leinster champions having won th provincial title last season for the first time in 15 years.

Despite being linked strongly with the vacant manager’s position on Galway, Clare legend Davy Fitzgerald is back in charge for a fourth season.

Eddie Brennan is back for his second year on the Laois sideline and he will be hoping the energy from 2019 will propel his side to a different level.

The loss of a number of key players – some have withdrawn, others are injured – means that only seven of the team that started against Tipperary in last year’s All Ireland are named in tonight’s starting 15.

Wexford, by comparison, have 11 of the team that started in their narrow All Ireland semi-final loss to Tipperary. Though there’s no Lee Chin, Matthew O’Hanlon or Diarmuid O’Keeffe, Fitzgerald still names a strong side.

They were crowned Walsh Cup champions in MW Hire O’Moore Park last weekend when they beat Galway thanks to a late goal.

This year’s league sees a change of format – with Division 1A and 1B now given the same status.

The top three teams will go through to the knockout stages while the bottom side in each group will play off to see who gets relegated to Division 2 for 2021.

After this evening’s game against Wexford, Laois face Dublin (away), Clare (away), Carlow (home) and Kilkenny (home).

You can follow all of the action below.

SEE ALSO – Check out all our coverage of the Laois senior hurling team

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Aedín graduated from University of Limerick with a degree in Journalism and New Media. She is a proud Townie with a passion for all things sports and doesn't like to speak about the 2016 blip in Portlaoise's bid to 10-in-a-row.