THIRTY-THREE OF the country’s top hurlers have packed their bags and headed west for this year’s GAA GPA All-Star tour in San Francisco.
The squad, made up of players from the 2010 and 2011 All-Star selections, jetted out of Dublin Airport this morning in preparation for Sunday’s exhibition match at the idyllically-named Treasure Island, the home of San Francisco GAA.
Liam Sheedy (2010) and Davy Fitzgerald (2011) will take charge of the team for the eight-day trip to California which includes a breakfast event aimed at fostering links between the Irish diaspora and the GAA’s growing international network of teams.
But some of the sport’s biggest names, including Kilkenny ace Henry Shefflin (injury) and 2011 Young Hurler of the Year Liam Rushe (exams), are among those who have opted not to travel to America.
Twelve players have been added to the squad as “replacements.”
This year marks the first time that the GPA has been represented on the tour following the merger of the two sets of All-Star awards.
GAA GPA All-Stars Hurling Tour 2011
Double All Stars (2010 & 2011): Paul Curran (Tipperary), Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny), Michael Fennelly (Kilkenny), Richie Power (Kilkenny), John Mullane (Waterford) and Lar Corbett (Tipperary).
2010 All Stars: Brendan Cummins (Tipperary), Jackie Tyrell (Kilkenny), Michael Walsh (Waterford), JJ Delaney (Kilkenny), Brendan Maher (Tipperary), Damien Hayes (Galway), Noel McGrath (Tipperary), Eoin Kelly (Tipperary).
2011 All Stars: Gary Maguire (Dublin), Paul Murphy (Kilkenny), Michael Cahill (Tipperary), Brian Hogan (Kilkenny), Pádraic Maher (Tipperary), Michael Rice (Kilkenny), Richie Hogan (Kilkenny).
Replacements: Ryan O’ Dwyer (Dublin), Declan Hannon (Limerick), Pauric Mahony (Waterford), Shane Walsh (Waterford), Liam Watson (Antrim), Eoin Larkin (Kilkenny), Donal O’ Grady (Limerick), Patrick Maher (Tipperary), Shane Dooley (Offaly), David Collins (Galway), John Dalton (Kilkenny) and Peter Kelly (Dublin).