Dónal Óg Cusack has warned Tipperary that they face a massive challenge to retain the Liam MacCarthy Cup next year.
The Cloyne man, who won back-to-back All-Irelands with Cork in 2004 and '05, told the RTÉ GAA Podcast: "It’s part and parcel of the week after an All-Ireland final; you hear talk of domination, for the victors everything is rosy and for the losers there are many, many questions posed. That’s just par for the course.
"In reality, retaining the All-Ireland hurling championship is very difficult and maybe because Kilkenny have been so successful we have lost sight of that fact.
"Only five counties have managed to retain an All-Ireland title and outside of the big three (Kilkenny, Tipperary and Cork), Wexford and Galway are the other two and they’ve only done it once. In fact, the big three have failed to do it more often than they have been successful at it.
"Even if you look to 12 months ago all of the talk was about Limerick, and rightly so, about how fantastic they were, how young they were for the future. Move on 12 months and it’s proven again how difficult it is.
"There are very fine margins – just look at that last minute sideline ball in the Limerick-Kilkenny semi-final this season. So all of the talk is about Tipperary, positive talk and rightly so, but there are no guarantees."Tweet