Evening Sports Update

SOCCER

They’re just underway in Kiev in a vital European Championship qualifier.

The Republic of Ireland are up against Ukraine, knowing a draw would secure at least a playoff for next year’s finals.

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Derry play host to Shelbourne tonight in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division, with kick-off at 7.45.

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In the Premier League tonight, Aston Villa play host to Leeds from 8.

GAELIC GAMES

The GAA have agreed to the GPA’s request to introduce baseline COVID-19 tests for inter-county players.

The decision follows talks between the players’ association and the GAA’s COVID-19 Advisory Group.

Details of the baseline screening will be finalised this weekend once a company has been found to provide the rapid testing.

CYCLING

Irish riders have claimed back-to-back stage wins on the Vuelta Espana.

Sam Bennett won today’s fourth stage to follow up on Dan Martin’s success yesterday.

Martin remains second on general classification, five-seconds behind race leader Primoz Roglic.

RUGBY

The IRFU say they will have to drastically cut their budgets if fans can’t return to matches within the next 12-months.

Their annual report shows a 35-million euro deficit linked directly to COVID-19.

The association had a surplus of 28-million this time last year.

Meanwhile, the Irish Independent say that all contract negotiations with players have been put on hold.

Several senior Irish internationals see their current deals expire next summer.

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England’s match with the Barbarians on Sunday has been called-off due to a breach of Covid-19 regulations.

The English RFU says it has taken the decision after discovering members of the opposition squad left their hotel bubble without permission twice this week.

Chief executive Bill Sweeney’s called the actions of the players frustrating and disappointing.

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In the Pro 14 this evening, Leinster take on Zebre at the RDS, with kick-off at 25-to-8.

GOLF

Jonathan Caldwell is best of the Irish at the halfway stage of the Italian Open.

His second round 68 leaves him on 9-under par, and seven off the lead of England’s Laurie Canter.