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2010 All-Ireland winning defender among several players cut from the Tipp panel

Eamon O’Shea has narrowed down his squad.

Paul Curran won't feature for Tipp again in 2015.
Paul Curran won't feature for Tipp again in 2015.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

TIPPERARY HURLING MANAGER Eamon O’Shea has trimmed a number of players, including 2010 All-Ireland SHC medallist Paul Curran, from his squad ahead of this summer’s championship.

Curran lined out at corner-back in the recent Allianz Hurling League Division 1 semi-final defeat against Waterford at Nowlan Park, but his long inter-county career now appears to be at an end.

The 33-year-old made his senior debut in 2001 against Cork in the National League before going on to enjoy a successful pilgrimage in the blue and gold.

The Mullinahone stalwart underwent hip surgery ahead of the 2014 season but he showed remarkable resolve to return to O’Shea’s squad last year, before playing a part in the 2015 League campaign.

Curran is a two-time National Hurling League medallist and he also won five Munster senior championships, including one as captain of the 2012 winning team.

O’Shea has settled on a core group of 26 players for pre-championship preparations but the squad remains very much open-ended.

It is understood that O’Shea will reveal a 30-man panel in the first week in early June, ahead of the Munster SHC semi-final with Clare or Limerick on 21 June.

Four slots are essentially still up for grabs — possibly more depending on injuries — and O’Shea will run the rule over a number of candidates in forthcoming challenge games, with Tipp due to face Dublin on 17 May in Drombane as championship preparations gather momentum.

Other fringe players such as Tom Stapleton, Shane Bourke, David Butler, Micheal Butler, Bill Maher, Sean Maher, Stephen Maher, Joe O’Dwyer and Liam Treacy have also been omitted at the present time.

Bill Maher, a member of the Tipperary U21 football team preparing for Saturday’s All-Ireland final against Tyrone, and Sean Maher are free to concentrate on U21 hurling commitments, but the former could yet force himself back into the senior reckoning.

O’Dwyer and Treacy have been hit by injury this year while Treacy’s Loughmore-Castleiney clubmate Liam McGrath, Tipp’s All-Ireland MFC winning captain in 2011, has stepped away from the squad in an attempt to regain full fitness.

Tipperary management will also monitor the progress of all potential squad members in the local club championships and the door remains open for any player showing good form.

Noel McGrath, who recently underwent surgery for testicular cancer, is naturally not part of the championship panel at this point in time but could return at a later date.

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Jackie Cahill

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