Evening Sports Update

SOCCER

Stephen Kenny doesn’t feel his inaugural Republic of Ireland squad is unbalanced.

He’s named just six defenders in his 23-man squad for the Nations League games with Bulgaria and Finland.

By contrast, there are eight attackers named in the panel.

Kenny says the squad mirrors his tactical outlook

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Ian Baraclough is disappointed Mark Sykes took away opportunities from another youngster that actually wanted to play for Northern Ireland.

The Oxford midfielder is switching allegiances to the Republic of Ireland having played under-21 football for the North.

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Newcastle have completed the signing of Jeff Hendrick on a free transfer.

The Republic of Ireland midfielder was released by fellow Premier League club Burnley earlier this summer.

He’s agreed a four-year deal at St James’ Park.

RUGBY

Munster say R-G Snyman will undergo an MRI on his injured knee.

Their new signing managed just seven-minutes against Leinster on Saturday before picking up the injury.

Dave Kilcoyne also requires a scan on his ankle, while Jean Kleyn will continue to have a neck injury monitored.

Mike Haley will return to full training this week following a calf problem.

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Jonathan Sexton, Cian Healy and Josh van der Flier all remain in contention for Leinster’s meeting with Ulster.

All three picked up knocks in the win over Munster.

Rhys Ruddock, Tadhg Furlong and Dave Kearney will all be assessed this week.

Dan Leavy remains unavailable, but is increasing his training load this week following his long-term knee injury.

BOXING

Katie Taylor has been ranked as the number-2 best pound-for-pound boxer in Ring Magazine’s first ever women’s list.

The undisputed lightweight champion is listed below three-weight world champion Claressa Shields.

Taylor defended her titles with a unanimous decision victory over Delfine Persoon on Saturday night.

ATHLETICS

Usain Bolt has tested positive for COVID-19.

The world 100 and 200 metre record holder is self-isolating at home.

RACING

Mark McNiff’s fine season continued at his local Sligo track on Wednesday. The trainer produced Mr Moondance in great shape to win the Callan Tansey Handicap Hurdle under Kevin Brouder, a native of Listowel. Brouder teamed up with Charles Byrnes at Kilbeggan on Friday as Wajaaha ran away with the novice hurdle at a generous 6/1.

Mouse Morris was back among the scorers on Wednesday at Sligo. Given a great ride by Tralee native Phillip Enright, 4/1 Friary Rock took the second of the maiden hurdles. And Morris and Enright doubled up when Baily Thunder took the Foley’s Bar & Off License Handicap Hurdle at a double paying 21.5/1.

There was a popular local success at Killarney on Thursday as Dingle trainer Mick Kennedy, a brother of Jack and Paddy, took the handicap chase at 5/1 with Smithscorner, ridden by Conor McNamara.