Cork v Waterford U20: Eoin Downey, Colin Walsh and Ben Cunningham to bring senior experience as Rebels name team

Ben O'Connor's side take on the Déise at Páirc Uí Chaoimh at 7pm on Wednesday
Cork v Waterford U20: Eoin Downey, Colin Walsh and Ben Cunningham to bring senior experience as Rebels name team

Eoin Downey in action for Cork against Wexford's Rory Higgins in the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group A game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh earlier this month. Picture: Inpho/Ken Sutton

The Cork team for Wednesday night's Munster U20HC opener against Waterford in Páirc Uí Chaoimh (7pm) features four starters from last year's provincial semi-final loss to Tipperary.

Three of the four have had senior experience this year. Eoin Downey, who impressed for the senior team during the Allianz Hurling League campaign, is named at centre-back while Colin Walsh and Ben Cunningham, who also had game-time with Pat Ryan's side, are the wing-forwards. Goalkeeper Brion Saunderson is the other survivor from 2022.

The team is captained by midfielder Michael Mullins - son of former Cork player Mickey - while Darragh O'Sullivan, James Dwyer, Mikey Finn, Diarmuid Healy and Jack Leahy were all part of the side which won the 2021 All-Ireland minor title. Leahy's partners in the full-forward line, Ross O'Sullivan and Adam O'Sullivan, were minors last year.

Kevin Lyons, Cillian Tobin, Ciarmhac Smyth and Alex Quirke are all unavailable due to injury. St Finbarr's powerhouse Ben O'Connor hasn't linked up with the squad yet as the PBC Leaving Cert student was playing Senior Cup rugby and is now set to be involved with the Ireland U19s over Easter.

This is the first of four round-robin games for Ben O'Connor's side, with Tipperary visiting the Páirc next week.

CORK (Munster U20HC v Waterford): 

B Saunderson (Midleton); 

S Daly (Randal Óg), S Kingston (Ballinora), D O'Sullivan (Ballinhassig); 

J Dwyer (Ballincollig), E Downey (Glen Rovers); T O'Connell (Ballincollig); 

M Mullins (Whitechurch), M Finn (Midleton); 

C Walsh (Kanturk), D Healy (Lisgoold), B Cunningham (St Finbarr's); 

A O'Sullivan (Ballinhassig), R O'Sullivan (Na Piarsaigh), J Leahy (Dungourney). 

Subs: P O'Sullivan (Fr O'Neills), C Geary (Youghal), M Howell (Douglas), T Wilk (Cobh), C Doolin (St Finbarr's), B Keating (Ballincollig), W Buckley (St Finbarr's), D Cremin (Midleton), E O'Leary (Glen Rovers).

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