An injury crisis won't halt Kilkenny's march towards another All-Ireland hurling title this summer, according to former Tipperary manager Liam Sheedy.
Sheedy believes the Cats' demolition of Cork in the National League final underlined the depth of talent in Brian Cody's squad.
"We got our answer very quickly in Thurles. A lot of us, including myself, would have expected Cork to raid them.
"With no Henry Shefflin, Noel Hickey, Richie Power and Michael Rice, you would have expected the team to be under pressure," he said.
"But all of a sudden you get younger guys, the Cillian Buckleys and the Matt Ruths, and these guys are just stepping up to the plate."
And Sheedy, who led the Premier county to All-Ireland triumph in 2010, is certain the reigning All-Ireland champions and recently crowned NHL champions will be an even more potent force by the time they face Dublin in the Leinster Championship on June 23.
"In the long term, I'd say the only one who's going to miss the Leinster Championship is Michael Fennelly.
"They have set the bar very, very high, and the challenge is for all the teams around the country to get up there."