National Hurling League Division 1A county-by-county guide

New Cork manager Pat Ryan has been boosted by the news Patrick Horgan will be available


Manager: Brian Lohan (4th year)

2022 record: Finished fifth in Division 1A, with one win, one draw and three defeats. Lost the Munster final to Limerick. Beaten by Kilkenny in an All-Ireland semi-final.

Opening fixture: Sunday v Westmeath, Cusack Park, 2.0

Clare pushed Limerick all the way in last year’s Munster final but ultimately they came up short. There have been some changes to the squad over the winter, including the retirement of Pat O’Connor, who was massively hindered by injuries in recent years. Lohan will hope further progress can be made in 2023 and Clare do have enough X-factor players to challenge for silverware.



Manager: Pat Ryan (1st year)

2022 record: Beaten by Waterford in the Division One League final. Finished third in the Munster SHC, advancing to the All-Ireland series where they beat Antrim before losing to Galway at the quarter-final stages.

Opening fixture: Saturday v Limerick, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 7.30

Cork won this year’s Munster Senior Hurling League, beating Limerick and Kerry in the group stages before a victory over Tipperary in the decider. Patrick Horgan has remained on-board with Cork for 2023 and given his critical comments during the week in relation to getting dropped last season, the ace forward sounds like a man on a mission for the season ahead.


Manager: Henry Shefflin (2nd year)

2022 record: Finished third in Division 1A, with three wins and two defeats. Beaten by Kilkenny in a Leinster final. Advanced to All-Ireland semi-finals, but lost to Limerick.

Opening fixture: Saturday v Wexford, Chadwicks Wexford Park, 5.0

Shefflin is starting out on his second year at the helm in Galway. The Kilkenny native used almost 40 players during their three Walsh Cup games – wins over Westmeath, Dublin and Antrim. Galway have advanced to the final of that competition against Wexford, but the decider was postponed. It will now double up with Saturday’s league meeting between the sides, meaning there will be silverware on the line at Wexford Park this weekend.


Manager: John Kiely (7th year)

2022 record: Finished fourth in Division 1A, with one win, one draw and three losses. Munster and All-Ireland champions. Limerick beat Clare in the Munster final and Kilkenny in the All-Ireland decider.

Opening fixture: Saturday v Cork, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 7.30

John Kiely wouldn’t be drawn on Aaron Gillane’s absence from the Limerick squad during the Munster Senior Hurling League. It is not the first time Kiely has had to deal with questions regarding matters off the field, but they have never tended to impact Limerick’s on-field displays. Limerick fans are hoping to see an injury-free Cian Lynch weave his magic again soon. They remain the team everybody else is chasing.


Manager: Joe Fortune (2nd year)

2022 record: Beat Down in the Division 2A final to secure promotion to the top flight for 2023. Drew with Wexford and beat Laois during the Leinster SHC, enough for fifth position and retaining their status in the provincial championship.

Opening fixture: Sunday v Clare, Cusack Park, 2.0

Westmeath are back in Division One following a strong league campaign last season. But they face a massive challenge to avoid ending up in a relegation playoff. The bottom team in the division will face the bottom side in Division 1B. It is difficult to see Westmeath avoiding that fate in the weeks ahead.


Manager: Darragh Egan (2nd year)

2022 record: Finished top of Division 1A, advancing to the semi-finals with an unbeaten record. But Wexford lost to Waterford in the last four. Finished third in the Leinster SHC, beat Kerry in a preliminary All-Ireland quarter-final but then lost to Clare next time out.

Opening fixture: Saturday v Galway, Chadwicks Wexford Park, 5.0

Wexford’s league opener against Galway will double up as the Walsh Cup final. Egan is in his second year at the helm. Long-serving players Paul Morris and Shaun Murphy both announced their retirements over the winter, but the core of Egan’s 2022 squad remains in place. They will see a Leinster SHC success as a real possibility this year.

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning is a sports journalist, specialising in Gaelic games, with The Irish Times