Evening Sports Update

GAELIC GAMES

The All-Ireland Senior Finals are likely to be played on the last two Sundays of August next year.

GAA Director General Paraic Duffy says they are considering playing the football decider on August 19th with the hurling on the 26th.

Delegates at Congress voted to bring the finals forward by a month for three years from 2018 – as well as introducing a round robin ‘Super 8’ section in the football to replace the quarter-finals.

The Allianz National Football League Division One game between Tyrone and Cavan has been re-fixed for Healy Park on Sunday March 12th at 2 o’clock.

The game was postponed yesterday due to a waterlogged pitch at Omagh.

RUGBY

Ireland remain in fourth place in the world rankings after Saturdays win over France in the Six Nations.

Scotland are up to their highest-ever place.

They’re now fifth after Saturday’s victory over Wales – who’re down to seventh place.

New Zealand remain top with England second.

Cian Healy, Sean O’Brien, Andrew Trimble, Conor Murray and Rob Kearney sat out training with the Irish rugby squad today.

Kearney has a groin injury following the game against France and scrum coach Greg Feek says he’s due to have a scan on the problem.

The Ireland management remain confident that he’ll be fit to play against Wales.

England’s World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward says he “totally supports” the tactics Italy used to unsettle Eddie Jones’s side in their Six Nations match.

He’s called their idea of not competing at rucks “innovative and inspired” – despite current boss Jones blasted the plan as “not rugby”.

England eventually won 36-15.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Sir Clive says it’s wrong for people to criticise Italy for having the “guts” to try it.

SOCCER

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is expected to miss this evening’s Premier League clash with Leicester after suffering a foot injury at training at the weekend.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are one-point behind fourth place Arsenal ahead of the 8 o’clock kick-off while Leicester are 18th.

Arsenal’s youth academy director Andries Jonker’s left the club – to take over as head coach of German top flight side Wolfsburg.

He’s held the role in north London since 2014.

The Dutchman was an assistant at Wolfsburg for two years before that.

BOXING

Italy’s Monica Gentili will be Katie Taylor’s opponent for her third professional fight this Saturday.

The bout will be on the undercard of David Haye versus Tony Bellew at London’s O2 Arena.

Former world amateur and Olympic champion Taylor eased to victory in her first two fights as a pro – and is expected to push for a world title shot later this year.

Gentili has won six and lost six fights in her career.

GOLF

Rickie Fowler’s returned to the world top 10.

Victory in the Honda Classic lifts the American to ninth.

Graeme McDowell is up two places to 87th.

Dustin Johnson remains world number one with Rory McIlroy in third, Shane Lowry’s next best of the Irish at 53rd.

MOTORSPORT

It wasn’t the best pre-season testing session today for McLaren F1 driver Fernando Alonso.

He was forced to stop after completing just one lap in Barcelona, due to an engine issue.

Lewis Hamilton’s new Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas had a better time – finishing second fastest.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was quickest.

HORSE RACING

Trainer Henry de Bromhead is set to take his strongest ever team to next month’s Cheltenham Festival.

The County Waterford handler is enjoying a memorable campaign and the likes of Petit Mouchoir in the Champion Hurdle and Champagne West in the Gold Cup will spearhead his 2017 squad.

De Bromhead’s been speaking with Mike Vince

Tombstone, winner of the Grade 3 Red Mills Hurdle at Gowran Park on his most recent start, is to be supplemented for the Stan James Champion Hurdle and will be Gordon Elliott’s first ever runner in the race.

Elliott said: “We’ve decided to supplement Tombstone to the Champion Hurdle once he remains in good form. He came out of his Gowran Park win very well and as it looks a wide open race this year, we’ve decided to let him take his chance in the Champion.”

Tombstone is owned by Gigginstown House Stud who will also be represented in the big race two weeks tomorrow by the Henry de Bromhead-trained Petite Mouchoir, winner of the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown last month.

Bryan Cooper, Gigginstown’s number one jockey, said: “I haven’t even thought about it. I didn’t know until today that Tombstone was going to be put in the race. I’m used to having to make those kind of choices and I won’t be making a decision until much closer to the time.”

The possibility of Tombstone being supplemented arose after his Gowran Park win when he beat Jezki by four lengths. Tombstone ran at the Festival a year ago when he finished fourth behind Altior in the Supreme Novices Hurdle.