Lunchtime Sports Update

RUGBY

Munster captain Peter O’Mahony returns as one of 4 changes to their team for Sunday’s Champions Cup game against Racing 92 in Paris.

Billy Holland, Stephen Archer and Chris Cloete also come into the pack.

The back line remains the same with Simon Zebo, Andrew Conway and Keith Earls in the back three.

Munster
Simon Zebo; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland; Peter O’Mahony (Capt.), Chris Cloete, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, James Cronin, John Ryan, Darren O’Shea, Jack O’Donoghue, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Alex Wootton.

Jordan Larmour has been named in the Leinster team for Sunday’s Champions Cup clash with Glasgow at the R-D-S.

The exciting 20 year old will make his first European start at full back in a back three with new signing James Lowe and Fergus McFadden.

Rob Kearney has been named on the bench.

Captain Isa Nacewa returns to replace the injured Garry Ringrose in the centre.

Tadhg Furlong remains in the front row, having completed return to play protocols after a head injury.

Glasgow sit at the bottom of the pool having lost their first four games.

The Scots have left stars Stuart Hogg, Finn Russell, Jonny Gray and Tommy Seymour out of their team.

Connacht have Ultan Dillane, Bundee Aki and Kieran Marmion back in their starting 15 for tomorrow’s Challenge Cup match against Worcester Warriors.

Craig Gilory and Louis Ludik are back in the Ulster team for tomorrow’s make or break encounter with La Rochelle in Belfast.

Sean O’Brien looks set to miss the start of the Six Nations, having undergone a hip operation.

The Lions flanker saw a specialist this week having suffered a tightness in his hip.

The problem had not responded to treatment as would have been liked, so O’Brien underwent a small procedure.

Leinster say the target for his return is during the Six Nations.

SOCCER

Richard Dunne is blaming the F-A-I for the uncertainty surrounding Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill.

The Derry man was said to be in the running to become the new Stoke City boss, although former Watford head coach Quique Sanchez-Flores is understood to be the front runner.

O’Neill had made a verbal agreement to remain with the Boys in Green for the upcoming European qualification campaign.

Dunne says the F-A-I should have put the deal writing

Sam Allardyce has confirmed Everton are negotiating with Arsenal to sign Theo Walcott.

The Toffee boss says the 28 year old he would be a fantastic addition to his attacking options.

Walcott has struggled for game time at the Gunners of late, and has yet to start a Premier League game this season.

HORSE RACING

The first €100,000 steeplechase in Ireland this year, Sunday’s Bar One Racing Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase at Fairyhouse, has attracted a field of 13 following declarations this morning.

The extended 2m1f contest was won 12 months ago by the Gordon Elliott-trained Ball D’arc and the Cullentra House handler has four runners in the line up headed by Cause Of Causes along with stable companions’ Tell Us More, Doctor Phoenix and The Game Changer.

Meanwhile Ireland’s champion trainer Willie Mullins, successful with Turban in 2014, is represented with likely market leader Acapella Bourgeois along with Polidam and Townshend.
The field is headed by the Jessica Harrington-trained top-weight Rock The World who is joined by stable companion Don’t Touch It.

The big race on Sunday is due off at 2.35pm.

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