GAA: When and where to watch this weekend's fixtures

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Gaa: When And Where To Watch This Weekend's Fixtures
Kilkenny’s Eoin Cody and Andrew Dunphy of Dublin in their Division 1B clash on Saturday. ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne
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Muireann Duffy

Breath a sigh of relief - it's back.

The 2021 GAA inter-county season gets underway this weekend with the first round of the Allianz Hurling League heralding in what will be a busy summer of sport.

The big ticket of the weekend is likely to be the Munster standoff between 2020 All-Ireland champions Limerick and 2019 champions Tipperary.

But before that, after a disappointing loss to Kilkenny in the Leinster final last year, Galway will be looking to set a precedent for their season, coming up against Shane O'Brien's Westmeath in Cusack Park in the weekend's opener.

Westmeath v Galway

The first Division 1A fixture will see Conor Whelan step up to the captaincy in the absence of Pádraic Mannion, while 2017 Hurler of the Year Joe Canning is another familiar face who will not feature.

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Following the retirement of Eoin Price, Cormac Boyle has been named Westmeath captain ahead of their first home fixture since their victory over Carlow in the Joe McDonagh Cup last November.

Time: 2pm, Saturday, May 8th.

Venue: Cusack Park, Mullingar.

Coverage: TG4, from 1.3opm.

Dublin v Kilkenny

Dublin are at home to reigning Leinster champions Kilkenny and will be up against it if their last outing against Brian Cody's side is anything to go by, losing 3-21 to 0-18 in Nowlan Park in last year's League.

Mattie Kenny has named Cian O'Callaghan, Liam Rushe and Danny Sutcliffe among his starters, while Kilkenny have made six changes to the team that lined out in last year's All-Ireland semi-final.

A strong bench are on-hand for Cody if the game goes astray, with Joey Holden and Tommy Walsh among the subs.

Time: 3.30pm, Saturday, May 8th.

Venue: Parnell Park, Dublin.

Coverage: Eir Sport 1, from 3pm.

Limerick v Tipperary

John Kiely is leaving nothing to chance in their season opener, naming a strong side to face neighbours Tipperary.

The starting XV is far from lacking, with the likes of Kyle Hayes, Sean Finn, Richie English, Tom Morrissey and David Reidy all set to feature, while 2020 Hurler of the Year Gearoid Hegarty and Cian Lynch are named on the bench.

With Declan Hannon out, Will O'Donoghue has been named captain for the home fixture.

Tipperary will be missing their captain Seamus Callanan, while Padraic Maher and John and Noel McGrath are among the subs, and after a very forgettable showing in both the League and Championship last year, Liam Sheedy's side will need to be sharp to avoid slaughter at the hands of the Shannonsiders.

Time: 5.30pm, Saturday, May 8th.

Venue: LIT Gaelic Grounds, Limerick.

Coverage: RTÉ, from 5pm.

Sunday

Antrim v Clare

The action rolls over to Sunday, with Antrim and Clare next up.

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Brian Lohan's team topped Division 1B, before falling to Limerick in the League final/Munster quarter-final fixture in October, while Antrim claimed the Joe McDonagh Cup after defeating Kerry 1-17 to 0-22 in December.

John Colon captains Clare, with Conor Cleary, Aidan McCarthy, Cathal Malone and Shane O'Donnell also named to start.

After an immense 2020 season, earning him a nomination for Hurler of the Year, Tony Kelly also starts in midfield.

Returning to Division 1 action, Antrim will be eager to show it's where they belong. Darren Gleeson has also announced his squad, which will be captained by Conor McCann, including Michael Brady in the half-forward line, Neil McManus and Keelan Molloy in midfield, and Ryan Elliott tending goal.

Time: 1pm, Sunday, May 9th.

Venue: Corrigan Park, Belfast.

Coverage: TG4 Spórt, deferred coverage at 5.35pm.

Wexford v Laois

Next up on Sunday is Wexford versus Laois in the last Division 1B fixture of the weekend.

Davy Fitzgerald's side's season was cut short last year following a 0-17 to 1-21 defeat to his home county Clare in the second round of the All-Ireland qualifiers, while Laois suffered a similar fate to Brian Lohan's men in the round previous.

Time: 1.45pm, Sunday, May 9th.

Venue: Wexford Park.

Coverage: TG4, from 1.15pm.

Cork v Waterford

The final televised game of the weekend will see Cork at home to Waterford.

The pair met in last year's Munster semi-final, with Waterford seeing off the Rebels by four points.

Their first round League fixture earlier in 2020 was a closer encounter, however Kieran Kingston's men still fell short at Walsh Park, losing 1-24 to 3-17.

Time: 3.45pm, Sunday, May 9th.

Venue: Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork.

Coverage: TG4, from 3.30pm.

In Division 2A, Kerry are against Down (1pm), Meath are at home to Offaly (2pm), and Carlow face Wicklow in Cullen Park (2pm), while in Division 2B Donegal welcome Roscommon (2pm), and Mayo are up against Derry (3pm).

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