Injured Kilkenny player Michael Rice has backed Henry Shefflin and his team-mates to completely ignore Joe Canning’s comments that the Ballyhale Shamrocks forward was ‘unsporting’ in the drawn final.
A hand injury to Rice suffered in the semi-final win over Tipperary has ruled out the Carrickshock man until the new year, however, he has been involved with the team preparations and even joked his Kilkenny team-mates allowed him to have dinner with them.
“It was tough the last day, I think everyone would have liked a result,” he says. “They allowed me on the bus, which was nice and they still gave me the dinner in Langton’s! It’s still great to be involved and in fairness the boys are all great to me.
“I still chat to them about the match and they’d be chatting to me, though I don’t know do they care what I think! They still keep me involved and the boys have been great. Martin Fogarty has me picking up cones and that, so that’s keeping me busy.
Speaking about Canning’s recent comments over Shefflin being ‘unsporting’ Rice was quick to establish that’s a term he would not associate with the eight time All-Ireland winner. “I heard about them,” said Rice. “The funny thing is, players don’t look into it too much because we have enough to be doing. The lads are going training, going working, going to the gym themselves and they won’t spend too much energy thinking about it. They just get on with it.
“I watched [Shefflin] for years, played with and against him for years and that’s not a word I would use.”