Kilkenny manager, Brian Cody
National League champions, Kilkenny, will sample their first action of the new hurling season at the weekend.
Brian Cody’s men travel to Bellefield, Enniscorthy, and not Innovate Wexford Park as first thought, for Sunday's 2pm clash with Wexford in the semi-final of the season opening Bord na Mona Walsh Cup.
The second semi-final between Dnublin and Galway will also be played on Sunday, in this case in Parnell Park (2pm).
The final will be played the following week.
This will be Kilkenny’s first outing since they lost the Wild Geese exhibition game against Galway in Sydney at the end of 2018.
The semi-finals will also mark the first outing of the season for Galway and Wexford. Dublin came through a qualifying series in the Walsh Cup, and a win over Laois at the weekend earned them a place in the last four.
Once the hurling action starts, it will be all go for Kilkenny club and inter-county players.
The weekend after next - Saturday and Sunday, January 19 and 20 - Kilkenny and Leinster champions, Graigue-Ballycallan (intermediate) and Dunnamaggin (junior) will be involved in All-Ireland club semi-finals.
On the Saturday (2pm) in Semple Stadium, Thurles, Graigue-Ballycallan play Charleville (Cork).
The following day in Fraher Field, Dungarvan (2pm), the Dunnamaggin men will tackle Cloughduv (Cork) in the junior All-Ireland club semi-final.
Both All-Ireland finals will be played in Croke Park on Sunday, February 10.
Meanwhile, Kilkenny will open the defence of the National League with a home game against Cork on January 27 (2pm). Their only other home game will be against All-Ireland champions, Limerick on February 17 (2pm).
Kilkenny’s away games in the preliminary series of the League are against Clare in Cusack Park (February 3), Tipperary in Thurles (February 24) and Wexford in Innovate Wexford Park (March 3).
The Ballyhale Shamrocks All-Ireland club senior hurling semi-final against Ballygunner (Waterford) will be played in Thurles on Saturday, February 9 (5pm).
For more on Kilkenny People sport read here.