Any lingering doubts about Henry Shefflin’s commitment to the Kilkenny cause for the new season were dismissed on Sunday as he started the Walsh Cup semifinal win over Galway in Freshford.

Shefflin was only a bit player for the Cats last season due to injury, but is keen to lead their bid to regain the MacCarthy Cup in 2014 according to manager Brian Cody.

Speaking after the great Shefflin scored 0-13 in a 1-24 to 0-15 win, Cody said, “Henry’s mad for it. His hurling the past few years has been very much more limited than he would have wanted it to be, so he’s just mad to play.

“The reality is that fellas want to get into the team for the league. If you get into the team you have a good chance of staying there. If you don’t get into the team you have to fight your way into it.

“The same rules apply to everybody. Everybody wants to play in these matches because in three weeks we are down in Clare in the Allianz League.”

Cody also played down concerns about the fitness of Eoin Larkin after he was stretchered off with a shoulder injury in the closing stages of Sunday’s win.

“It was very worrying there for a while. He got it in the elbow. There were fears it was a break. It looks like it is pretty severe bruising, very sore, but he will be fine, hopefully,” Cody said.