Joe Canning will lead the Galway attack on Sunday
This will be a massive weekend in the GAA hurling All-Ireland championships. History will be made in Pearse Stadium, Galway where the reigning All-Ireland champions (Galway) take on this year’s Allianz League champions (Kilkenny).
It will be Galway’s first home game since joining the Leinster championship in 2009.
Last year’s beaten All-Ireland finalists (Waterford) will be having their first outing in the 2018 campaign when they play Clare.
Galway host Kilkenny in Pearse Stadium on Sunday (4pm), while Offaly will be at home to Wexford in the other Leinster ‘round robin’ game in Bord na Mona O’Connor Park on Saturday (7pm).
In Munster, it’s Tipperary versus Cork in Semple Stadium on Sunday (2pm), while Clare play Waterford in Ennis (3.30pm).
GALWAY V KILKENNY
History in the making as Galway play their first Leinster championship game at home since joining the eastern campaign in 2009.
Galway versus Kilkenny has been a very busy rivalry in recent times, with Sunday’s game the 11th between them since Galway joined the Leinster championship in 2009.
Galway’s only win from the previous 10 games was in the 2012 Leinster final. The 2012 All-Ireland final and the 2014 Leinster semi-final were drawn, with Kilkenny winning both replays.
LAST FIVE CHAMPIONSHIP CLASHES
2016: Kilkenny 1-26 Galway 0-22 (Leinster final)
2015: Kilkenny 1-22 Galway 1-18 (All-Ireland final)
2015: Kilkenny 1-25 Galway 2-15 (Leinster final)
2014: Kilkenny 3-19 Galway 1-17 (Leinster semi-final replay)
2014: Kilkenny 3-22 Galway 5-16 (Leinster semi-final).
This will be the 43rd championship meeting between Galway and Kilkenny. The Cats lead 31-9 with two draws from the previous 42 clashes.
This will be Galway’s first ‘home’ game in the championship since 2011 when they beat Clare by 4-25 to 0-20 in Pearse Stadium.
Brian Cody has managed Kilkenny 16 times against Galway in the championship since taking over at the start of the 1999 season, winning 11 (2000-2004-2006-2006-2007- 2009-2010-2012-2014-2015-2016), drawing two (2012-2014) and losing three (2001-2005-2012).
Kilkenny have beaten Dublin and Offaly in the Leinster ‘Round Robin’ while this will be Galway’s second game, having beaten Offaly in the first round.