Evening Sports Update

RUGBY

Munster captain Peter O’Mahony says he’ll make a decision on his future by the New Year.

The Lions flanker’s contract at the province ends next summer and he’s being linked with clubs in England and France.

O’Mahony insists he remains 100 per cent committed to the Reds and wants the situation sorted soon

Simon Zebo returned to training today ahead of the visit of Leicester in the Champions Cup this weekend.

The full-back had been considered a doubt for the vital tie, having injured his ribs in Saturday’s PRO-14 win over the Ospreys.

Leinster are set to make a call later this week on whether Robbie Henshaw will be fit to face Exeter in the Champions Cup on Sunday.

The Ireland centre is recovering from a hamstring problem sustained in training ahead of the November International against Argentina but trained along with out-half Johnny Sexton today.

Garry Ringrose is fit after playing in the win over Treviso at the weekend and flanker Josh van der Flier is also available for the trip to Sandy Park.

France will host next summer’s under-20 Rugby World Championship.

Ireland will face France, South Africa and Georgia in Pool C of the competition.

SOCCER

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers says Moussa Dembele’s fit for tomorrow’s final Champions League group game with Anderlecht.

He missed their two Scottish Premiership matches last week after being injured during the League Cup final.

Crystal Palace have announced plans for a proposed 100-million pounds re-development of Selhurst Park.

The Premier League club intend to build a new main stand and raise capacity at the ground to 34-thousand.

Chairman Steve Parish says they don’t intend to continue playing at the stadium while the works are being carried out.

Carlo Ancelotti claim’s he’s turned down the chance to become the new Italy manager.

The former Milan, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Real Madrid boss says he spoke to the Italian Football Federation after the nation’s failure to qualify for next summer’s World Cup finals.

However, he politely declined as he wants to continue in club football.

England manager Gareth Southgate’s been told he’ll stay in the job, even if they under-perform at next summer’s World Cup.

Their group opponents will be Belgium, Tunisia and Panama.

FA chief executive Martin Glenn says they have a “long-term plan” – and that Southgate’s the right man “for the next few tournaments”.

But he says the national team boss isn’t looking at the finals in Russia as a “free pass”.

Robbie Benson is staying with Dundalk for the 2018 season.

The midfielder has today signed a new one-year contract with the Lilywhites.

Benson scored 12 goals in 37 appearances for Stephen Kenny’s side last term.

GAELIC GAMES

Cork GAA chairman Ger Lane has dismissed suggestions that Kieran Kingston stepped down as their hurling manager because he was asked to pay for All-Ireland Final tickets as ‘utter nonsense’.

He’s told the Irish Examiner that he was ‘disappointed’ that Kingston opted against staying on but says the decision was down to ‘ personal and work reasons’.

Mr Lane also revealed that the cost for the re-development of Pairc Ui Chaoimh was in excess of 86-million Euro – more than 16-million Euro above estimates from two years ago.

RACING

Douvan is the star name among 11 entries for the Betfair Tingle Creek at Sandown on Saturday.

Willie Mullins’ seven-year-old won his first 13 races on leaving France, including successive victories at the Cheltenham Festival in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Arkle Trophy.

This weekend’s run will be his first since a shock defeat in last season’s Queen Mother Champion Chase in March.

Coney Island will return to action in the Leopardstown Christmas Chase – formerly the Lexus – on December 28 with trainer Eddie Harty hoping he could emerge as a dark horse for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The JP McManus-owned six-year-old has not been seen since chasing home Our Duke in the Grade 1 novice chase at Leopardstown last Christmas, as a badly bruised foot kept him out of the Cheltenham Festival, and he is priced between 16-1 and 33-1 for the Gold Cup.

Those fancy prices may appeal to some given he was a Grade 1-winning novice chaser, and the form of that Drinmore victory has worked out very well with Alpha Des Obeaux (now rated 157) and Road To Respect (now rated 163) back in third and fourth.

Harty said on Monday: “I know you’ve not seen Coney Island yet but I’m pleased to report everything is great with him and, touch wood, you’ll see him again in what used to be the Lexus. That’s the race we’re aiming at. There’s nothing really suitable before then and we’ve decided to give the John Durkan a miss in favour of waiting for Leopardstown. He missed the second half of last season with a bruised foot but is absolutely fine now and it was nothing too serious. He goes well fresh so I’m not worried about him having his first run back in a Grade 1.”
On the prospect of Coney Island emerging as a Gold Cup contender, Harty said: “I certainly hope he can. You can’t knock his form as a novice and I’m hoping we’ll get a clearer run this season than we did last term. I’ve certainly not lost any faith in him.”

Coney Island is 12-1 with Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook for the Leopardstown Christmas Chase. Yorkhill heads the betting at 5-2

GOLF

Tiger Woods has moved up 531 places in the new world golf rankings after his top-10 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

The 14-time major winner is now 668th after playing in his first tournament in over 300 days.

Rory McIlroy remains 10th with Shane Lowry in 62nd and Paul Dunne in 75th.

SNOOKER

World number two Judd Trump is the latest big name to make an early exit at the UK Snooker Championship at York.

He’s lost by 6 frames to 2 to Graeme Dott in the last-32.