THERE’S some good news for Monaghan fans ahead of their All-Ireland Group Stage opener against Derry on Saturday night.
Ryan McAnespie returns to the starting 15 for the first time this season having returned from Australia in the build-up to last month’s Ulster Championship semi-final defeat against Derry.
It’s a significant boost as he had been a mainstay of the team prior to taking a sabbatical in Australia, featuring in 12 of Monaghan’s 14 outings in 2022.
Darren Hughes also had to go off injured during that match but is working his way back to fitness and is contention to see action in their repeat meeting with the Ulster Champions.
Conor McManus has been named on the bench but it would be a major surprise if he isn’t in the starting team come game-time this Saturday.
Monaghan team to face Derry:
Rory Beggan, Ryan O’Toole, Kieran Duffy, Ryan Wylie, Karl O’Connell, Conor Boyle, Conor McCarthy, Karl Gallagher, Killian Lavelle, Stephen O’Hanlon, Micheál Bannigan, Dessie Ward, Jack McCarron, Gary Mohan, Ryan McAnespie
SUBS: Darren McDonnell, Sean Jones, Conor McManus, Shane Carey, Darren Hughes, Thomas McPhilips, Kevin Loughran, Kieran Hughes, Darragh McElearney, Francie Hughes, Colm Lennon