Here is a run down of the teams and how they stack up going into this year’s competition.
Munster Faces off Against Ulster at 2:30
Captains — Keefe Garrett and Brian O’Haire — are happy to get back on the field. The backbone of their defense will undoubtedly be Colin Lee, Ethan Colson, and Kendall Mallon with Brain O’Haire in goal.
Munster has lots of options in the middle of the field with Peter Salazar, Matt aka Jacko, Kevin McCabe, and Keefe Garrett. The forwards received a huge boost with Indianapolis hurler Cody Hedges joining the team, along with veteran Gaels forwards Paul Kosempel, Trey Perrin, and Oscar Solis.
Captains Garrett and O’Haire will need the help of Sarah Massingill, Lindsey Erin Meszaros, Michael McGowan, Johnathan Morris, Heather Oglesby, Dan Allen, Sarah Gjestbang, Ally Murphy, and Neil Prinste if they wish to take the Irish Rover Cup in 2021.
Players to watch out for are Paul Kosempel and Heather Oglesby.
Captains Jamie Haskell and veteran Shay Dunne know very well that if they can get their best 13 on the field they will be a very difficult team to beat. They have tons of experience with veterans like Bobby Kanaly, Brian Arnold, Greg Sheedy, Patrick Behan, Patrick Folan, And Michael Schaefer.
If Jamie Haskell and Shay Dunne can add Tim Phelan and Tab Brannigan back in defense along with Paddy Behan at center back feeding the ball into Sheedy, Kanaly, and Schaefer they will be hard to stop.
With some very good Camogie players Betsy Coon, Laurie Bakes and Kim van Wagner, and returning star Kate Buckler joining the likes of David Murphy, Henry Deitrick, Joe Burpoe, along with new comers Spencer Frady, Michael Abbotron, Nick Case, and Shane Glackin. They won’t be very far away from winning the Irish Rover cup in 2021.
Players to watch out for are Shane Glackin and Michael Schaefer.
Prediction: Team Ulster
At 3:30 Leinster Goes Head to Head With Connacht
Captains Ryan Coon and Kate Behan have only one thing on their minds — winning some hardware. But in order for that to happen they’re going to need a huge effort from newcomers and their veterans.
They will target having Wexford star Bingo Byrne for the business end of the season. Without him the expectations is that Slattery or Stahlbaum will start in goals, with their defense built around Kyle Dunne, Mark Maguire, Tim Hasting, Andrew Young, Patrick Burns, and Lyssa Gad.
Expect Big Ben Marcum to break up possession for Keith Healy and Tyler Boisvert around the middle. Those two along with captains Kate Behan and Ryan Coon will do the damage up front. Newcomers Curran O’Brien and Eddie Moore will be needed if team Leinster want to go all the way.
Players to watch out for are Patrick Burns and Lyssa Gad.
Seemingly the season favorite, but without the presence of Brian Kearney in the half back line. This will certainly put some pressure on them.
Captains Cormac Delaney and Sean Sweeney will be very focused. The hard part might be getting their defense set up with the loss of Kearney. I suspect Tim Shaw may take that roll. Other defenders will undoubtedly be captain Sean Sweeney himself in the full back line along with John Nolte.
If Tim Shaw plays center back it will allow Both Cormac Delaney and Brendan Reed to attack from the middle of the field where getting a quality ball into Adam Kiefert would be high on the list.
They will be looking to get veterans Adam O Leary, Keith Buckley, Phil Amateis, Gary Lee Baker, Ryan Funk, and Sean Sullivan into the game as much as possible as well as Comagie players Arica Williams, Krista Zampacorta, Sarah Meyer and new players Kaitlyn Mascher, Jenny Park, and Ben Stanislowsky.
Players to watch out for are Tim Shaw and Kaitlyn Mascher
Prediction: Team Connacht