Evening Sports Update

RUGBY

Bundee Aki will earn his first Ireland cap on Saturday, after he was named in the centre for Saturday’s test with South Africia.

He’ll be partnered in the centre by his former Connacht team-mate, Robbie Henshaw.

Elsewhere, there’s a first start on the wing for Jacob Stockdale, while the other wing is manned by Munster’s Andrew Conway with Keith Earls out injured.

In the pack, there’s a recall for Cian Healy.

While the Lions back row of Peter O’Mahony, Sean O’Brien and CJ Stander will all start.

With Rob Kearney named at full-back, Joey Carbery must content himself with a spot among the replacements.

Reporting Oisin Langan…………..

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt says Bundee Aki’s debut comes in a similar fashion to another player to qualify under the residency rule. ………………

Former Leinster out-half Ian McKinley is set to make his debut for Italy this weekend.

He’s been named on the bench for the Azzurrl’s test with Fiji.

McKinley’s achievement is all the more incredible considering an eye injury forced him to quit the game six years ago.

He’s since been able to make his comeback and forge a career in Italy with the aid of pioneering goggles.

SOCCER

There are no new injury concerns as the Republic of Ireland squad have set off for Copenhagen and the first leg of their World Cup playoff with Denmark.

Burnley pair Jeff Hendrick and Stephen Ward have come through sessions and will be fit to play.

Bradford keeper Colin Doyle has returned to his club.

Two of the SSE Airtricity Premier Division’s top 4 have benefitted from Galway United’s relegation.

Cork City have announced their third new signing of the week, with Colm Horgan joining the double-winners.

Meanwhile, Derry City have signed Rory Hale as they aim to plug the gap left by Barry McNamee.

Despite their double success, only three Cork players have been named in the PFAI team of the year.

Defender Ryan Delaney and midfielder Gearoid Morrissey are joined by now Preston striker Sean Maguire.

Runners-up in the league and Cup, Dundalk have four players in the eleven – Sean Gannon, Niclas Vemmelund, Patrick McEleney and Dave McMillan.

The team is completed by Derry pair Ger Doherty in goal, and Aaron McEneff; Shamrock Rovers’ Trevor Clarke, and Galway’s Ronan Murray.

Maguire, McEleney and McEneff are all nominated for player of the year.

GOLF

It was a lacklustre start for the Irish involved at the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa.

Shane Lowry ended the day five off the lead following a level par opening round of 72.

Padraig Harrington and Paul Dunne both shot 2-over par rounds of 74.

The lead in Sun City is held by Bernd Wiesberger on 5-under par.

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