JACKIE TYRRELL is primed to step into the breach at centre-back for Kilkenny in Sunday's All-Ireland SHC quarter-final showdown with Limerick in Thurles (4.0).>
Brian Hogan is now certain to miss out after suffering a dead leg in club combat and Tyrrell has been identified by Brian Cody as the obvious replacement for his first choice number six.
Hogan has been a near ever-present at centre-back for Kilkenny after resuming starting duties from John Tennyson back in 2007 and has become one of the Cats most consistent defenders.
Tyrrell has been used in a range of defensive positions by Cody but most recently at corner-back where he won all four of his All Star awards between 2007 and 2010.
However, the return of JJ Delaney means he could come in as an indirect swap for Hogan.
Delaney missed the shock Leinster final defeat by Galway with a broken finger having lined out to telling effect at full-back in Kilkenny's hammering of Dublin in their Leinster SHC semi-final.
He is again set to man the number three spot with Noel Hickey moving to the corner or a promotion to starting duties for Kieran Joyce. Cody also has to decide whether and where to start his All-Ireland winning midfield pairing of Michael Fennelly and Michael Rice.
Fennelly, the reigning Hurler of the Year, has made solid progress after being sidelined with a broken bone in his foot since the National League Division 1 final cakewalk against Cork and should slot straight back into the starting 15 with rookie Cillian Buckley or Paddy Hogan - or even both - set to lose out.
Rice is also a certain starter after an impressive cameo off the bench in the Leinster final and could reform last year's engine room with Fennelly.