Shefflin: "Hopefully I won't be too nervous."
The King's Speech

'It's something I was always drawn to': Why Shefflin chose The Sunday Game over Sky

Shefflin will be in Semple Stadium when Limerick take on Clare this weekend.

IT WILL BE lights, camera, action as Henry Shefflin makes his RTÉ punditry debut this weekend.

And the man whose nerveless point-taking defined a generation of hurlers knows that this will be a whole different ball game.

King Henry takes his first TV steps on Sunday when Limerick meet Clare in the Munster hurling championship opener.

Shefflin had no shortage of offers following his inter-county retirement, and turned down an approach from Sky Sports who made a big play to land him as the marquee name for their second season in the GAA.

The 10-time All-Ireland winner says it was tradition that sealed the deal and saw him join the RTÉ panel.

“I’ll be honest with you, I spoke to both parties and I was very impressed with both of them.

It just came back to growing up watching The Sunday Game. That’s what my parents watched, that’s what my friends and family would have watched.

“It was probably something I was always drawn to. That more than anything else was different.

“The analysis of games, whatever sport it might be, is at a very high level now and has improved so I’m looking forward to getting involved and seeing how it goes for myself.”

Centra Champions healthy living through GAA partnership Henry Shefflin was speaking at Centra’s ‘Champions of Healthy Living’ hurling launch. To find out more details, log on to Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE / SPORTSFILE

Shefflin joins an RTÉ stable that includes mainstays Ger Loughnane, Cyril Farrell and Tomás Mulcahy as well as his former Cats team-mate Eddie Brennan and old rival Donal Óg Cusack.

Another Kilkenny legend, JJ Delaney, has joined Sky where he will team up with Jamesie O’Connor and Ollie Canning for their hurling coverage.

“Everything else was pretty similar to be honest,” Shefflin said as he compared the two broadcasters.

“You think about the people you’re working with but to be fair the hurling community is fairly small and I know most of them.

“You then take into consideration some of the matches that are going to be shown and stuff like that. Obviously, The Sunday Game would be showing more matches in the summer. You can do the games live and you can do the night-time programme so again, that was a big difference.

“All those kind of things pushed me in the direction of The Sunday Game.”

Though he has played through some of the most dramatic moments in recent hurling history, Shefflin still expects some first-day nerves when he arrives in Semple Stadium on Sunday.

“It’s probably like yourselves starting out, doing it for the first time, you’re wary of it.

It’s different for me. When I was normally being interviewed it was after a match and that was it, you’d just say a few words and that’s it.

“But now [it's] your analysis and knowledge and stuff like that, and there’s a bit of work pre-match, so in that sense it will probably differ when the lights come on.

“Hopefully I won’t be too nervous but I think it will take a little bit of time to get used to. It’s like anything, you’ll get into a routine of it.”

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