Evening Sports Update

GAELIC GAMES

U-U-J have become the first side through to this year’s Sigerson Cup semi finals, and with some ease too.

They brushed aside U-L on a scoreline of 4-6 to 11-points at Jordanstown this afternoon.

RUGBY

Ian McKinley is in line to make his Six Nations debut against his home nation on Saturday.

The former Leinster out-half has been included in the Italy squad for the game at the Aviva, with Conor O’Shea to name his side on Thursday.

Connacht will welcome a number of players back from injury for Friday’s Pro 14 meeting with the Ospreys.

Finlay Bealham, Craig Ronaldson, Sean O’Brien, Andrew Browne and Steve Crosbie are among those available to Kieran Keane again.

Meanwhile, the province say winger Niyi Adeolokun is making good progress with his hamstring injury and could return later this month.

Craig Gilroy is back in contention for Ulster and Friday’s meeting with Southern Kings in the Pro 14.

The winger has recovered from a fractured cheekbone.

But Andrew Trimble and Peter Nelson have joined the province’s lengthy injury list.

SOCCER

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has reportedly handed his squad an extra two-days off following last night’s thrashing at Watford.

The 4-1 defeat came just over a week after the reigning champions lost 3-nil at home to Bournemouth.

Conte is concerned fatigue is playing a role in the side’s poor form, but he insists he’s not worried about his own job security.

Ronald Koeman has been confirmed as the new Netherlands head coach.

The former Everton and Southampton manager has signed a deal that will take him up to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Koeman succeeds Dick Advocaat who failed to qualify the Dutch for this summer’s World Cup.

BADMINTON

Three-time Olympian Scott Evans has announced his retirement.

The Dubliner broke new ground in Beijing in 2008, becoming the first Irishman to represent Ireland in badminton at an OIympic Games.

Evans won his first Olympic match at Rio two-years ago, before eventually placing ninth overall.

ATHLETICS

Phil Healy has been named European Athlete of the Month for January.

The Bandon AC sprinter took over a second off her lifetime best when winning in the 400 meters in Vienna last week, in a European-leading 52-point-08 – which for a few hours, was also the World lead.

She is also close to the Irish 60 meters record.

Healy and Amy Foster (who holds a share of the 60 meters record) are currently the only Irish athletes qualified for the World Indoors in Birmingham next month.

CYCLING

Nicolas Roche finished comfortably within the peloton in today’s first stage of the Tour of Dubai.

The BMC rider is ten-seconds down on stage winner, Dylan Groenewegen.

It wasn’t such a good day for Aqua Blue’s homegrown contingent, with Conor Dunne finishing 3-minutes 26-seconds down on the leader’s blue jersey.

While Matthew Brammeier is almost 6-and-a-half minutes adrift.

WINTER OLYMPICS

900 military personnel have been deployed in Pyeongchang after the security force for the Games suffered an outbreak of norovirus.

32 workers have been quarantined, while the 12-hundred employed to work as security have been kept in their rooms while they await testing.

The Games open on Friday.