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Best wing-forward in hurling

Shane Stapleton and Michael Verney drill down into the debate of who is the best wing-forward in hurling — and what you need to play the role

They say you can’t have two worker bees and that two stylists wouldn’t work either — so Shane Stapleton and Michael Verney drill down into the debate of who is the best wing-forward in hurling. Brought to you by — hurling is back, and so are they.

Picking the best number 10 or 12 in the game in many ways comes down to what you want from the position.

Are you looking for a worker bee? Someone who will get his hands on the ball and load the bullets for those further up the field to fire.

Do you want a point-scorer who can threaten from deep, thus dragging the half-backs away from protecting their inside line?

Perhaps you want a player who can bulldoze through the heart of a defence, and either score or set up a goal.

Players such as Rory O’Connor, Cathal Mannion, Pauric Mahony, Shane Conway, and David Reidy are always good for scores, while a Dan McCormack, Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher, Tom Morrissey, Conal Keaney and Wally Walsh can win ball in the toughest of situations.

Gearoid Hegarty is to many people the leading wing-forward just now. His pace, power, scoring ability, and relentless engine certainly puts him in the elite category.

Clare’s Diarmuid Ryan could well establish himself as another big talent if he doesn’t nail down a spot elsewhere, while Liam Og McGovern and Niall O’Meara are two other lively exponents of the role.

Strangely, two men who are talked about in other positions were named as the All Stars at wing-forward of 2019: Lee Chin and Colin Fennelly.

The Wexford and Kilkenny forwards both have the qualities to play the positions but are often deployed elsewhere.

Click play on the video at the top of the page to see Shane Stapleton and Michael Verney debate the position, and name their number ones. Not only that, but their ideal pairing.

Brought to you by — hurling is back, and so are they.

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