Evening Sports Update

RUGBY

Claire Molloy will captain Ireland from openside flanker in their Women’s World Cup opener against Australia at UCD tomorrow.

Lindsay Peat, Cliodhna Moloney and Ailis Egan form the front-row with Marie-Louise Reilly and Paula Fitzpatrick the locks.

Ashleigh Baxter and Heather O’Brien join Molloy in the back-row.

Larissa Muldoon and Nora Stapleton are the half-backs with Jenny Murphy and Sene Naoupu in midfield.

Alison Miller and Eimear Considine are on the wings with Hannah Tyrrell selected to start at full-back.

Kerry trio Ruth O’Reilly, Ciara O’Connor and Ciara Griffin are all amongst the replacements, as is 2015 World Player of the Year nominee Sophie Spence.

Ireland head-coach Tom Tierney says his team are ready to go

Ireland captain Claire Molloy says they need to handle the expectation of being tournament hosts

BOXING

Ireland’s Kristina O’Hara has bowed out of the E-U Championships at the quarter-final stage.

Belfast’s O’Hara was edged out by home fighter Roberta Bonatte in their light-flyweight bout in Italy.

While Cork’s former European bronze medallist Christina Desmond lost out to Holland’s Nouchka Fontijn in the middleweight quarters.

Kellie Harrington and Grainne Walsh are already assured of at least bronze medals from the tournament.

ATHELTICS

Irish athletes arriving for week two of the World Athletics Championship will be staying in alternative accommodation after an outbreak of gastroenteritis among guests at the London’s Tower Hotel.

That stomach bug caused Tom Barr to pull out of his 400-metres hurdles semi-final yesterday.

The hotel insists it’s not the source of the illness – and that it’s taking measures to contain it.

Public Health England says two of thirty people affected have contracted norovirus.

800-metres competitor Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner and walkers Rob Heffernan, Alex Wright and Brendan Boyce will now be staying in different hotels.

One of the favourites for tonight’s 400-metres final has been withdrawn due to illness.

Botswana’s Isaac Makwala also missed last night’s 200-metres heats as a result of a sickness bug affecting people involved with the event in London.

HORSE RACING

Trainer Gordon Elliott will run his exciting 2-year-old Beckford in next Sunday’s Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh.

Beckford is unbeaten in his two starts and was an impressive winner of the Railway Stakes last time out.

Elliott felt he ran green on that occasion and there may be more improvement to come from this smart juvenile

SOCCER

Leicester have signed highly-rated player George Thomas from Coventry on a three-year contract.

The Wales youth international can play in midfield or up front.

Thomas scored nine times in 36 appearances for Coventry last season.

Huddersfield captain Mark Hudson has retired ahead of the new Premier League season and joined the top-flight newcomers’ coaching staff.

The 35-year-old defender won his third promotion to the uppermost division in May – the previous two having come with Crystal Palace and Cardiff.

Hudson played nearly 500 games in his career, over 100 of which came across three seasons with the Terriers.

Watford have signed Brazilian forward Richarlison on a five-year contract.

The Under-20 international moves to the Premier League side from Fluminese – where he scored 19 goals in 67 games.

FORMULA ONE

Mercedes have opened contract talks with Valtteri Bottas about an extension for 2018.

Bottas joined the Silver Arrows from Williams in January on a one-year deal as a last-minute replacement for Nico Rosberg.

He claimed his first F-1 victory at April’s Russian GP, two weeks after breaking his pole duck in Bahrain, and was also victorious at last month’s Austrian GP.

MIXED MARTIAL ARTS

Paulie Malignaggi has labelled Conor McGregor a ‘dickhead’ after photos of their sparring sessions were leaked.

Former two-weight world champion Malignaggi was brought in by the McGregor camp ahead of the UFC star’s eagerly-awaited boxing match with Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas at the end of the month.

He claims leaked photos of him on the canvas were the result of a push and also insists the images do not give the true impression of how the sessions were going.

He admits McGregor impressed him at times, but believes he would have dominated further sessions.