Lunchtime Sports Update

GAELIC GAMES

It’s been confirmed that Diarmuid Connolly WILL lodge an appeal over his proposed 12-week ban.

It was initially reported that Connolly would accept the suspension, which was handed down by the CCCC after an incident in Dublin’s Leinster quarter-final against Carlow.


The committee believe Connolly was guilty of “minor physical interference with an official” – an action that carries a 12-week suspension.

The appeal will be heard by the Central Hearings Committee in the coming days.

Roscommon have taken the unusual step of naming their team for Sunday’s Connacht football semi-final, six days in advance.

Three players will make their Championship debuts – Colm Lavin starts in goal, Tadhg O’Rourke is named in midfield and Brian Stack starts at wing forward.

Roscommon face Leitrim at Dr Hyde Park on Sunday.

RUGBY

Peter Malone has named the Ireland Under 20s side to face Samoa tomorrow in the 9th Place Semi-Final of the World Rugby U20s Championships.

Flanker Paul Boyle captains the side in the back-row alongside Gavin Coombes and Caelan Doris.

And Mark Keane could make his under 20s debut – he’s named on the bench after joining up with the squad last week as an injury replacement.

Kick off in Georgia tomorrow is at 10am Irish time.

The IRFU says they are increasing the capacity of the UCD Bowl for the Women’s Rugby World Cup in August, such is the demand for tickets.

The capacity has now been announced as over 16,000, and additional tickets have since gone on sale.

The UCD Bowl will play host to all of the pool games before the semi-finals and final takes place at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast.

Bernard Jackman has been appointed the new head coach of the Dragons.

The former Leinster hooker takes over from Kingsley Jones.

Dragons finished second-bottom of the Pro 12 table last season, having won just four times.

Jackman left his role as Grenoble coach late last season.

Connacht have continued building for next season with the addition of prop Peter McCabe to their squad.

McCabe had a spell training with Connacht while on loan from Munster last season,

The 25-year old joins scrum-half James Mitchell in joining Kieran Keane’s squad for next season.

SOCCER

AC Milan’s new owners have continued to flex their financial muscle.

The Serie A giants have completed the 38-million euro signing of André Silva from Porto.

He joins defenders Ricardo Rodriguez and Mateo Musacchio (PR: Muss-ackee-oh) who both cost 18-million.

New Middlesbrough manager Garry Monk says he left Leeds last month because the vision of the club’s new owner Andrea Radrizzani didn’t suit him.

It hasn’t taken him very long to find a new job in the Championship.

Monk says the “clarity” of the set-up at Boro appealed to him – and believes they’re equipped to win promotion straight back to the Premier League.

GOLF

Graeme McDowell’s top 30 finish at the St. Jude Classic on the PGA Tour has seen him move up one place in the latest golf world rankings.

He’s 89th in the world, with Shane Lowry 20 places ahead of him in 69th.

Dustin Johnson still leads the way ahead of Rory McIlroy and Jason Day.

HORSE RACING

Enda Bolger has rubbished talk of retirement for his stable star On The Fringe who will turn 13 in January.

The two-time Cheltenham winner, who completed the spring festivals treble in both 2015 and 2016, was a shadow of his former self last season when finishing fourth at Cheltenham, being pulled up at Aintree and taking a remote fifth at Punchestown. It seemed inevitable that On The Fringe would be retired after that below-par Punchestown effort but Bolger says his stable star will be back in action in the second half of the season to chase a third Cheltenham Festival win at the age of 13.

Bolger said: “On The Fringe got therapy on his back and we have kept him ticking over. He is back cantering, he looks absolutely fantastic and, don’t you worry, he will be back for another campaign. We hope to have a crack at the three festivals next spring again. I cannot put my finger on what went wrong last season. His homework was great and we were very happy going to Cheltenham after his good run at Leopardstown but it just did not happen and he did not travel in the early part of the race at all. His jumping was not as slick as it usually is and his season got worse. It could have been that he was feeling his back and hopefully the therapy we have given him for that will sort him out. He is in mighty form at the moment.”

DIVING

Jack Ffrench has replaced Oliver Dingley as Ireland’s only competitor at this week’s European Diving Championships.

Olympian Dingley is recovering from an ankle injury, and is instead focusing on July’s World Championships in Budapest.

Ffrench will compete in the 1-metre and 3-metre springboard in Ukraine this week.

SHARE