Corbett quits Tipperary as Mullane steps into shadows
TWO of hurling's most iconic forwards will not be around for 2012 after both Lar Corbett and John Mullane yesterday pulled out of their respective inter-county squads.
Corbett - Hurler of the Year just two seasons ago - met with Tipperary manager Declan Ryan yesterday and after a lengthy chat sent a text to his team-mates to inform them of his decision.
A statement from the Tipperary county board confirmed: "The Tipperary senior hurling management regrets that Lar Corbett has informed us of his withdrawal from the Tipperary Senior Hurling panel due to work and business commitments. Lar's importance and value to the Tipperary senior hurling team is immeasurable and the door will remain open to him for a return to the panel if those work pressures ease."
Corbett (pictured right) was handed his Tipperary senior debut by Nicky English in 2001 against Clare, and went on to score 26-67 in championships over the next decade of service.
Without doubt his most memorable contribution, however, was the three goals he scored against Kilkenny in the 2010 All-Ireland final as Liam Sheedy's men broke the Cats' bid for a record fifth All-Ireland in a row.
Mullane, meanwhile, is thought to have taken an extended break from inter-county hurling and has not yet intimated when he might return to the Waterford fold.
The four-time All Star was overlooked for the Déise county captaincy earlier this year in favour of Michael 'Brick' Walsh but it is not known whether this is the source of his discontent.
Whether Mullane's sabbatical extends to the summer remains to be seem but, as it stands, new manager Michael Ryan must plan without two of Waterford's most influential forwards of recent seasons, Mullane and Eoin Kelly.
One of football's 'golden oldies' will play in 2012, however, after Pádraic Joyce confirmed he would be returning to the Galway fold for a 15th season.
At 34, Joyce is four years older than Corbett and Mullane but has shaken off an Achilles injury and has informed new Tribesmen boss Alan Mulhollan of his decision.