Jim Gavin has named his side that will travel to Clones on Sunday for their Allianz League opener.
Raheny man Brian Fenton had initially been expected to miss out as he had been believed to be abroad, however he did train with the team last week and has been named in the starting side alongside Michael Darragh MacAuley in centre midfield.
Evan Comerford of Ballymun Kickhams takes the place of captain Stephen Cluxton in goal, in a rare opportunity to prove his essence as Cluxton’s heir apparent.
Ciarán Kilkenny and James McCarthy were already known absentees, and from this opportunities have arisen in the side, with Gavin naming nine of the team to play in last year’s All-Ireland final victory over Tyrone.
Aside from Kilkenny, McCarthy and Cluxton, the other players not to return from that game are Jack McCaffrey, Phily McMahon and Cian O’Sullivan.
In addition to Comerford and MacAuley, the other players to come into the starting line up for the first competitive game of the season are Cormac Costello, Conor Mullally, Michael Fitzsimons and Eric Lowndes.