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Best hard man in hurling

Who are the biggest enforcers in the world of hurling? Shane Stapleton and Michael Verney thrash out the debate

Shane Stapleton and Michael Verney debate who is the best hard man in hurling. Brought to you by

You can’t win with 15 dandy hurlers, that’s been established throughout the history of the GAA.

There are times when supporters will be perplexed at a certain skilful player being left on the bench for a more agricultural sort, but hurling requires an iron fist underneath a velvet glove.

So who are the enforcers in the game, and who is top of the pile?

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Almost every county has one or more candidate, although a couple come up short in the ignorance standings (that, of course, being a compliment in our codes).

Paudie Maher is one of the first names on the list for Tipperary, while his regular foe Wally Walsh gets a mention for Kilkenny.

Will O’Donoghue has established himself as the Guv’nor between the 65s for Limerick, which is no mean feat given that theirs is a team of giants.

When Galway won the All-Ireland in 2017, the spine of their defence was a fearsome proposition, and those pieces remain in place for 2020: Daithi Burke and Gearoid McInerney.

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Up front, Conor Whelan is a bull of a man, which is something you could also say of Colin Fennelly for The Cats.

Wexford and Dublin are highly physical team, but perhaps Waterford, Cork, Clare and Laois could do with another brute or two across the lines of the field.

In the history of the game, there have been some great hard men: Diarmuid ‘The Rock’ O’Sullivan, Mick Mackey, John Doyle, Liam Dunne and Pa Dillon being just a few.

Please let us know in the comments section who you feel has been left out, or should be number one in the list.

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Click play on the video at the top of the page to see the debate.

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