Evening Sports Update

RUGBY

Jonathan Sexton appears unlikely to start Leinster’s Pro 14 meeting with Munster on Saturday.

The out-half skipped yesterday’s training session, having started each of Leinster’s last three games.


Ross Byrne would be the man to wear the number 10 jersey in Sexton’s absence, with Leinster having one eye on their Champions Cup opener with Wasps in the next couple of weeks.

Ulster have been hit with a significant injury blow ahead of their Champions Cup campaign.

Centre Darren Cave suffered a fractured thumb in Saturday’s thrashing at the hands of Munster, and is expected to miss the next eight weeks.

If all goes to plan, it means Cave would be out until December’s back-to-back Champions Cup pool games with the Scarlets.

Iain Henderson is unlikely to face Connacht on Friday having suffered a concussion at Thomond Park last weekend.

But in better news for the province, Rory Best, Jacob Stockdale and Sean Reidy have all recovered from their respective injuries and will be available for selection on Friday.

SOCCER

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed Hugo Lloris will start tomorrow night’s meeting with Barcelona at Wembley.

The Spurs goalkeeper and captain last played in August’s 3-nil win over Manchester United, just after he was charged with drink-driving.

However, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele (pron: dem-bel-ay) and Serge Aurier (pron: oar-ree-air) are all ruled out of tomorrow night’s game.

GOLF

A woman struck by a ball at the Ryder Cup says she’s been blinded in her right eye.

US Open champion Brooks Koepka ran over to her and apologised after she was hit by his tee shot.

Now she’s planning to sue organisers, claiming there was no warning from officials before the ball headed towards the gallery – the European PGA is investigating.

A statement from Ryder Cup organisers disputes the claim of no warnings, saying “fore” was shouted several times following the tee shot.

Organisers say they will offer the woman and her family assistance for as long as is necessary.

Further details of unrest in the U-S Ryder Cup team have emerged.

Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka reportedly had to be separated at Europe’s victory party on Sunday night.

It follows Patrick Reed’s claims that Jordan Spieth did not want to play alongside him over the weekend in Paris, and that egos got in the way of the American efforts.

Team Ireland Golf will be out in force for this year’s Monaghan Irish Challenge, supported by Sport Ireland, with the green brigade hoping that home comforts will be worth a few euros at Concra Wood.

In all, 12 Irish professionals will tee it up in Co Monaghan for the European Challenge Tour event, which visits the majestic Christy O’Connor Junior course in Castleblayney for the first time having been staged at Mount Wolseley since 2015.

Sport Ireland provide funding of €200,000 for Team Ireland Golf – awarding player grants totalling €130,000 in 2018 – and their investment in the Monaghan Irish Challenge, as well as giving players the chance to compete on home soil, secures starts for players on the Challenge Tour throughout the season.

Ulsterman Ruaidhri McGee captured the Christy O’Connor Jnr Memorial Trophy, awarded to the lowest scoring Irishman, at last season’s event and is leading the home challenge for this year’s renewal. This season McGee has recorded two tied fourth results in Italy and Switzerland on the European Challenge Tour. Joining him in Concra Wood are Challenge Tour regulars Gary Hurley, Dermot McElroy, Gavin Moynihan and Cormac Sharvin.

Fellow Team Ireland Golf members Brian Casey, John Ross Galbraith, Stuart Grehan, Paul McBride, Brendan McCarroll, Neil O’Briain and Conor O’Rourke complete the list of Irish pros in the field. Team Ireland Golf secured starts for those seven players.

DARTS

Three former world champions are in last-16 action at the World Grand Prix in Citywest tonight.

First up, Raymond van Barneveld goes up against Dave Chisnall.

That’s followed by the meeting of Gary Anderson and Jeffrey de Zwaan.

The last match at the oche sees Michael van Gerwen take on Darren Webster.

While defending champion Daryl Gurney is also in action tonight, with the man they call “Super Chin” facing Holland’s Ron Meulenkamp.

RACING

David Marnane sent out a double at Naas this afternoon. The Bansha-based handler got the ball rolling when Tennesse Waltz landed the Circle Bar claimer under Billy Lee.

Cracking Name ensured it was an afternoon to remember for the stable by taking the following Christmas Parties at Naas Handicap under Oisin Orr.
Irish racing previews and news bulletins are brought to you by Horse Racing Ireland and the Racing Post

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