Lunchtime Sports Update

RUGBY
Johnny Sexton has admitted his Irish captaincy may be up for review once the 6 Nations resumes action.

After succeeding Rory Best as captain, Sexton led Ireland for their opening three fixtures of the 2020 Six Nations, before the rugby season was put on hold.

The number 10 isn’t sure what Farrell will decide to do once the campaign is back…

Meanwhile it’s been confirmed that Championship leaders Newcastle Falcons will be promoted to the English Premiership next season.

Despite the season ending prematurely, they’ll replace Saracens in the top flight who have been relegated after they broke a number of rules relating to the salary cap.

 

World Rugby is using the break to look at making the game safer.

They’ve re-emphasised existing laws around the breakdown in a bid to clean up an area of the game where 9% of all injuries occur.

In short, the guidelines will ask referees to more strictly penalise the following:
– Side entry into rucks
– Players diving off their feet into rucks
– Players handling the ball after rucks have been formed
– Tacklers not releasing and rolling away immediately after completing tackles.

The sport’s governing body hopes to reduce injuries and ensure a “fair contest” at all times.

HORSE RACING
Willie Mullins has been crowned champion trainer and Paul Townend champion jockey after the National Hunt season was formally ended.

The Fairyhouse and Punchestown Festivals have been cancelled.

The intention is to stage the 150th Irish Grand National between October and December.

When racing resumes, it will be a month of flat action and will more than likely take place behind closed doors.

The Kerry minor ladies football team has found an inventive way to stay together while all trainings and games are on hold.

The players and coaches have compiled a short video, comprising a clip of each player and mentor catching a football from out of shot and passing it onward to their countymate.

With each catch and pass coming from backgardens to barns all across the county – the video shows that the Kerry ladies are still able to find each other with an O’Neills even

GOLF
Organisers of golf’s Open Championship have denied reports that this year’s event is cancelled.

An official statement has been released to say they are assessing their options and Chief executive of the R&A Martin Slumbers says they are working to find a solution as soon as they can.

The Masters at Augusta and the PGA Championship have already been cancelled for this year.
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Golf clubs across Ireland are to conduct individual surveys to capture the economic impact of Covid 19.

Both the Golf Union of Ireland and Irish Ladies Golf Union are aiming to make a compelling case for state-funded supports to help clubs recover as soon as possible.

TENNIS
Eight time men’s champion Roger Federer says he’s devastated by the decision to cancel this year’s Wimbledon Championships.

Seven time women’s champion Serena Williams admits she was shaken – and both will be approaching 40 by the next time the All England Club opens its gates.

There have only been ten previous years in which Wimbledon hasn’t been staged, and all were because of war.

CYCLING
The status of this year’s Tour de France has become more tenuous.

This year’s Criterium du Dauphiné has been postponed.

The week-long race is ordinarily used as a barometer of form before the Tour de France.

Tour organisers have reportedly set a deadline of May 15th to decide whether this year’s race should go ahead.

Length and breadth