LONDON hurling manager Eamonn Phelan has received a blow after losing three of the panel’s new additions for this season.
James Rigney (pictured), Joe Clarke and Lee Mackey have all been training with the Nicky Rackard Cup holders in recent weeks but all three have now opted not to remain with the panel.
Rigney, who transferred to the Brothers Pearse club in November, has returned to Offaly and played for the Faithful County in their Walsh Shield final win against DIT on Sunday.
Clarke is still based in London but has been invited back on to the Westmeath panel and is expected to move home to Ireland shortly.
Mackey, who was a member of Tipperary’s championship panel last season, is staying in London and may line out for Sean Treacys this year.
However, the Carrick Davins player has informed Eamonn Phelan that he’s unable to commit to inter-county hurling for 2012.
“It takes a lot of dedication and Lee has been at it with Tipp for the last couple of years, so you can’t force lads,” said Phelan.
“Westmeath wanted to get Joe Clarke back on board. Some of their senior players especially were keen to get him back so they’re trying to get him work. He’s still in London at the minute but he’s been home over the last couple of weekends playing with Westmeath.
“James Rigney went home a few weeks ago and he played for Offaly last weekend but I haven’t heard anything from him since, so it looks like he’s gone as well.”
Following their recent defeat to Mount Leinster Rangers in the All-Ireland Club Intermediate Hurling semi-final, the Robert Emmetts contingent returned to training with the London panel last week.