THERE are a number of personnel and positional alterations on the Cork hurling team for tomorrow’s trip to Mullingar.
The Rebels play Westmeath in an All-Ireland qualifier with five changes from the side that lost to Clare in the Munster championship.
In come Conor Lehane, Stephen McDonnell, Shane Kingston, Tim O'Mahony and Chris Joyce, out go Aidan Walsh, Daniel Kearney, Robert Downey, Seán O'Donoghue and Luke Meade.
Walsh has a finger injury but is expected to recover for the quarter-final clash with Kilkenny a week later, assuming Cork live up to their billing as hot favourites here.
There is still a very experienced dimension to the side with former captain returning Stephen McDonnell to the full-back line instead of O’Donoghue, who is listed among the subs.
Chris Joyce returns to the half-back line to the exclusion of Downey, who will be featuring with the Cork U20s on Wednesday night in the Munster semi-final against Clare.
O’Mahony is handed one of the midfield shirts alongside Bill Cooper with Darragh Fitzgibbon now being berthed on the 65.
Kingston gets a start at left half-forward instead of Kearney while Lehane comes in too to the same line instead of Meade.
The full-forward line comprises of the very experienced Alan Cadogan, Patrick Horgan and team captain Seamus Harnedy. They could do serious damage with a decent supply.
Blackrock’s Michael O’Halloran is listed among the subs for a game that Cork will start very racing certainties to win against a side that was beaten by Laois fairly comprehensively in last Sunday’s Joe McDonagh Cup final.
This will be the first championship meeting between the counties. The winners will face Kilkenny on Sunday week in the quarter-final, while Dublin, provided they beat Laois, will take on Tipperary.
Unless Dublin defeat Tipp, Cork would be paired with Limerick in the All-Ireland semi-final on the last Saturday in July, 6pm in Croke Park.
CORK (v Westmeath): A Nash, S McDonnell, E Cadogan, N O’Leary, C Joyce, M Ellis, M Coleman, B Cooper, T O’Mahony, C Lehane, D Fitzgibbon, S Kingston, A Cadogan, P Horgan, S Harnedy.
Subs: P Collins, D Cahalane, S O’Donoghue, D Browne, M O’Halloran, L Meade, R O’Flynn, J Coughlan, D Dalton, C Cahalane, J O’Connor.