Lunch Time Sports Update

Soccer

The late Derry City captain Ryan McBride has been described as “honest, genuine, and a tough-as-nails defender”.

The 27 year old was found dead at his home yesterday afternoon, just a day after making his final appearance for the club.

He captained the side to a 4-nil win over Drogheda United on Saturday – their fourth straight league win of the season.

In total McBride made over 100 appearances for the Candystripes over a six year period, and won an FAI Cup in 2012.

FAI chief executive John Delaney has expressed his condolences to Ryan’s friends and family, and confirmed that a tribute to the defender will take place at Friday’s night World Cup qualifier between Ireland and Wales. President Michael D Higgins also paid tribute.

Derry’s game with Limerick tomorrow night has been postponed as a result of the news.

Derry chairman Philip O’Doherty told BBC Radio Foyle about McBride’s personality on and off the field.

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Martin O’Neill has confirmed Wes Hoolahan will miss that game against Wales on Friday through injury.

The attacking playmaker suffered a thigh strain while playing for Norwich at the weekend, and scan results have shown he will not be fit enough in time for the game.

It’s the latest in what O’Neill has described as the “lengthiest list of injuries” he’s endured in his three years in charge of the side.

Captain Seamus Coleman missed training today after picking up a knock, but O’Neill says he will be OK to take his place in the team.

Daryl Murphy is a more serious doubt due to a sore calf and has been sent for a scan, while James McCarthy is expected in from Everton today and will be assessed by the Irish medical team.

Six other players have been confirmed as injury absentees for Friday’s clash – they are Harry Arter, Rob Elliot, Paul McShane, Ciaran Clark, Liam Kelly and David McGoldrick.

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Arsenal have denied reports they’ve approached Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel about becoming their next manager.

Stories in Germany claim he’s being lined up to replace Arsene Wenger – who’s considering his future after 21 years in charge.

The club say any decision will be ‘mutual’, and will be communicated at the ‘right time in the right way’.

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Manchester City and Manchester United will meet in a rare Thursday night fixture next month.

The original game was scheduled for the same weekend as the League Cup final – which Jose Mourinho’s side won in February.

The tie has now been pencilled in for Thursday 27th April, because both teams play on the Sundays before and after the agreed date.

Kick off will be at 8pm.

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Across the border,

Celtic have moved to within one win of a sixth successive Scottish Premiership title.

They’re 25 points clear at the top after a 2-1 victory at Dundee.

 

GAELIC GAMES

Referee David Gough has admitted to making a costly mistake in the closing minutes of last year’s All-Ireland football semi-final between Dublin and Kerry.

Gough failed to award Kerry a scoreable free when they trailed Dublin by a point in injury time.

Diarmuid Connolly then went on to score for the reigning champions in their next attack and seal a 0-22 to 2-14 victory.

Gough says on reflection he should have given Kerry a free for Kevin McManamon’s charge on Peter Crowley, but said he “didn’t get it wrong on purpose”.

 

Rugby

Conor Murray and CJ Stander have both been shortlised for the Six Nations Player of the Tournament award.

The Munster pair are two of the 12 players to be nominated for the accolade.

Champions England have three players included, while there are two players each from Scotland, Wales and France, and one from Italy.

Voting closes tomorrow on the Six Nations website.

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Wales rugby union captain Alun Wyn Jones will have a scan on a shoulder injury he suffered during the final weekend of the Six Nations.

The lock was replaced in the second-half of their 20 points to 18 loss in France. The extent of the injury is not yet known.

Jones is a leading candidate to skipper the British and Irish Lions for this summer’s tour to New Zealand.

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A proposed merger between top French sides Racing 92 and Stade Francais has been called off.

The clubs, who are both based in Paris and play in the Top 14 league, announced their intention to merge six days ago,

However, racing 92 president Jacky Lorenzetti said, in agreement with Stade president Thomas Savare, they were giving up on the proposal.

 

GOLF

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy says a poor start cost him at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando.

He finished on 9-under for the tournament – two shots behind Australian winner Marc Leishman.

McIlroy will now head to Texas to play in the World Golf Championship Match Play event.

 

TENNIS

Roger Federer continued his dream start to the year by winning the Indian Wells Masters title.

The Australian Open champion beat Swiss compatriot Stan Wawrinka in straight sets.

At 35 years of age, Federer becomes the oldest winner in the tournament’s history.

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UK Anti-Doping says drug use at every level of sport is “fast becoming a crisis”.

UKAD chief Nicole Sapstead was commenting on new figures which found that a third of amateur sports people in the UK say they personally know someone who has doped,

The BBC investigation also found that nearly half of those surveyed thought performance-enhancing drugs were “easily available”.

Sapstead has called the figures “incredibly alarming”.

 

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Athletics

And there was a Bronze medal for a Kerry athlete in World Indoor Championships.

At 5am irish time Pat Murphy from Castleisland came third in the 3000 meters’ indoor event.