Morning Sports Update

RUGBY

The I-R-F-U have upped the ante in their fight for Ireland to stage the 2023 World Cup.

Chief Executive Philip Browne has written a letter to his World Rugby counterpart expressing major concerns with the process that recommended South Africa.

It also reminds the World Rugby Council members, who vote on the matter next week, that all three bids has been judged capable of hosting the tournament.

The Lions trio of Sean O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony and C-J Stander looks set to fill Ireland’s back row in Saturday’s November Test against South Africa at the Aviva Stadium.

Joe Schmidt’s options have been narrowed with the news that Tommy O’Donnell, Dan Leavy and Jack Conan have all missed training this week due to injury.

Rhys Ruddock looks set to provide the cover from the bench.

The Leinster flanker was a late replacement for Chris Henry when Ireland last played the Spingboks in Dublin.

He scored the opening try in the 29-15 win back in 2014, but is still out to impress this week…………………..

SOCCER

Jeff Hendrick remains the main focus as the Republic of Ireland continue their preparations for the World Cup playoff against Denmark.

The Burnley midfielder was sent for a scan on a glute injury yesterday, but manager Martin O’Neill is optimistic he will be fit to line out in Copenhagen on Saturday.

It is hoped Stephen Ward will return to training, have sat out yesterday’s session due to a knee injury.

Assistant manager Roy Keane says it would be fantastic for Ireland to reach the finals in Russia next summer, but warns there is still a job to be done.

The injury news for Denmark appears to be more positive.

Captain Simon Kjaer was taken off in Sevilla’s 2-1 defeat to Barcelona at the weekend with a suspected hamstring injury.

But the ever-present defender insists he’s not worried about potentially missing the Ireland games.

Danish head coach Åge Hareide is also confident that Nicolai Jorgensen can play some part against Ireland.

The striker fractured his wrist while playing for Feyenoord at the weekend, but has joined up with the squad.

Cork City have been busy, barely 48 hours after securing the league and cup double.

They’ve seen off interest from Dundalk to sign striker Karl Sheppard to a new two-year contract.

Sheppard scored nine league goals for Cork in the season just passed.

Meanwhile, the Leesiders have also signed full-back Tobi Adebayo -Rowling, who spent the past two seasons at Sligo.

Meanwhile, Greg Bolger has left Turner’s Cross after two seasons.

The midfielder has signed instead for Shamrock Rovers.

SNOOKER

World number one Mark Selby is in action at the Champion of Champions event in Coventry today.

He faces China’s Liang Wenbo.

While Judd Trump faces this year’s China Championship winner, Luca Brecel.

ATHLETICS

Four-time Olympic silver medallist Frankie Fredericks has been suspended as a member of the International Olympic Committee.

French authorities last week charged the former sprinter with corruption and money laundering.

Fredericks denies wrongdoing after being accused of accepting a bribe on the day Rio was chosen as host of the 2016 Games.

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