It is the first time in any of Limerick’s five Liam MacCarthy-winning seasons since 2018 that both Hegarty and Hannon have not secured inclusion among the nominees.
All three players shortlisted for the 2023 Hurler of the Year award are from Limerick though – Aaron Gillane, Kyle Hayes, Diarmaid Byrnes.
If Byrnes or Gillane win the accolade, it will be the third consecutive year a player from the Patrickswell club has been named Hurler of the Year. Cian Lynch won the individual gong in 2021 while Byrnes picked up the honour in 2022. No player has ever won two All Star Hurler of the Year awards in a row.
Kilkenny’s Eoin Cody can feel unlucky to have missed out on that shortlist after a stellar year for the Cats during which he was instrumental in steering them back to an All-Ireland final appearance.
The Young Hurler of the Year nominees are Adam Hogan and Mark Rodgers from Clare, while Cork’s Ciarán Joyce has also been recognised after an outstanding season for the Rebels.
Only three players from last year’s All Star hurling team have failed to pick up a nomination this season – Hegarty, Hannon and Galway’s Pádraic Mannion.
Joining Limerick’s 14 representatives on the list of 45 All Star nominees for 2023 are eight players from beaten All-Ireland finalists Kilkenny, nine from Munster finalists Clare, six Galway hurlers, four from Cork, three from Tipperary and one from Dublin.
Hannon’s absence from the list is no major surprise after the Limerick captain missed the latter stages of the championship because of a knee injury. The Adare man was forced off during Limerick’s Munster final win over Clare and did not feature in the All-Ireland semi-final or final. Hannon has been the glue at the heart of the Limerick defence throughout this all-conquering era and is a three-time All Star.
Hegarty started all bar one of Limerick’s championship games this summer but the 2020 Hurler of the Year misses out on a nomination this season. He is the only one of the 15 players from Limerick’s All-Ireland final starting team not to be nominated.
David Reidy and Peter Casey are among six Limerick forwards on the list. Reidy was one of the main beneficiaries of the forced reshuffle because of Hannon’s injury. He did not start a single game during the round-robin stages of the Munster Senior Hurling Championship, but got the nod for the provincial final and subsequently started against both Galway and Kilkenny.
With Will O’Donoghue dropping to centre back and Cian Lynch operating at midfield it created a more fluid Limerick tactical approach in the middle third. Lynch has been nominated among the forwards while O’Donoghue is named at midfield by the All Star selection committee. Casey finished the year very strongly, scoring 0-5 in the All-Ireland decider.
The three goalkeepers nominated are Limerick’s Nickie Quaid, Kilkenny’s Eoin Murphy and Clare’s Eibhear Quilligan. Quaid won the award last year, but Murphy could wrestle the spot back off him this term.
Barry Nash, Mike Casey, Dan Morrissey, Kyle Hayes and Diarmaid Byrnes are Limerick’s five representatives among the 18 defenders. Kilkenny have four backs nominated – Mikey Butler, Huw Lawlor, Paddy Deegan and David Blanchfield.
Clare, who overall received more nominations than beaten All-Ireland finalists Kilkenny, also have four players included among the defenders – John Conlon, Adam Hogan, Diarmuid Ryan and David McInerney.
Ciarán Joyce and Damien Cahalane are Cork’s two defensive nominees, while Galway’s Jack Grealish and Daithí Burke also make the cut. Ronan Maher of Tipp completes the 18 defenders.
Noel McGrath is Tipperary’s only midfield nominee, named alongside Limerick’s Darragh O’Donovan and Will O’Donoghue, Kilkenny’s Adrian Mullen, Cork’s Darragh Fitzgibbon and Clare’s David Fitzgerald.
Lynch, Reid, Gillane, Peter Casey, Séamus Flanagan and Tom Morrissey are the six Limerick forwards nominated, while only two Kilkenny players are included – TJ Reid and Cody.
There are four Galway forwards nominated – Cathal Mannion, Conor Whelan, Brian Concannon and Evan Niland. Jake Morris is Tipperary’s only attacking inclusion, with Jason Forde possibly unfortunate to miss out.
Tony Kelly is one of three Clare forwards, along with his Banner colleagues Shane O’Donnell and Rodgers while Cork’s Patrick Horgan is also included. Donal Burke, who kept the scoreboard moving for Dublin this season, is the only player from the capital on the list of 45.
Limerick had seven players included on the 2022 All Star hurling team, while in 2021 they had a record 12 on the side. In 2020 there were nine Limerick hurlers on the 15, while in the team’s breakthrough season of 2018, six players won All Stars.
The 2023 winners will be announced on Thursday, November 16th and they will be presented with their awards at a banquet on Friday, November 17th. The All Star football nominations for this season will be revealed on Friday morning.
PwC Hurling All-Star Nominations
Eoin Murphy (Kilkenny), Nickie Quaid (Limerick), Eibhear Quilligan (Clare)
Barry Nash (Limerick), Mike Casey (Limerick), Dan Morrissey (Limerick), Kyle Hayes (Limerick), Diarmaid Byrnes (Limerick), Mikey Butler (Kilkenny), Huw Lawlor (Kilkenny), Paddy Deegan (Kilkenny), David Blanchfield (Kilkenny), John Conlon (Clare), Adam Hogan (Clare), Diarmuid Ryan (Clare), David McInerney (Clare), Ciarán Joyce (Cork), Damien Cahalane (Cork), Jack Grealish (Galway), Daithí Burke (Galway), Ronan Maher (Tipperary).
Darragh O’Donovan (Limerick), Will O’Donoghue (Limerick), Noel McGrath (Tipperary), Darragh Fitzgibbon (Cork), David Fitzgerald (Clare), Adrian Mullen (Kilkenny).
Cian Lynch (Limerick), Peter Casey (Limerick), Tom Morrissey (Limerick), Aaron Gillane (Limerick), Séamus Flanagan (Limerick), David Reidy (Limerick), Cathal Mannion (Galway), Conor Whelan (Galway), Brian Concannon (Galway), Evan Niland (Galway), Tony Kelly (Clare), Shane O’Donnell (Clare), Mark Rodgers (Clare), TJ Reid (Kilkenny), Eoin Cody (Kilkenny), Jake Morris (Tipperary), Dónal Burke (Dublin), Patrick Horgan (Cork).
Hurler of the Year Nominees
Kyle Hayes, Aaron Gillane, Diarmaid Byrnes (all Limerick)
Young Hurler of the Year Nominees
Adam Hogan (Clare), Mark Rodgers (Clare), Ciarán Joyce (Cork)