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Models won't have legs for young Rebels

THE presence of Kilkenny suddenly looms large for all teams huddled around the backdoor of the All-Ireland series and for Cork the potential for meeting the Cats sooner rather than later will seem all the more acute.

Things were a little too tight for the Rebels last week against Offaly so it's little surprise that Jimmy Barry-Murphy has altered his team so severely, despite a final winning margin of seven points.

Again, he has demonstrated a willingness to put his trust in youth, a policy which, in fairness, worked pretty well in his last incarnation as Cork manager.

This time, Damien Cahalane is dropped into the first-team picture for his Championship debut at full-back, with Conor O'Sullivan making way.



OUTPLAYED

It was noted that if anything, Cork were physically outplayed by Offaly in Páirc Uí Chaoimh a week ago and certainly, Eoin Cadogan's return to the side at wing-back following his successful sojourn with the footballers will help in this regard, even if dropping Darren Sweetnam seems a curious call

So too will Niall McCarthy's selection up front along with Luke O'Farrell and, if anything, at least Corkonians can be certain that Barry-Murphy is building a squad of players deep enough to get back into the upper echelons of the hurling hierarchy.

Wexford have drafted Paul Roche, Jack Guiney and Stephen Banville into their side but haven't at any stage this year displayed the sort of form that suggests they could challenge Cork.

ODDS: Wexford 9/2, Draw 14/1, Cork 1/10

VERDICT: Cork