Lunchtime Sports Update

GAELIC GAMES

The St Mary’s club has announced Paul O’Donoghue as their chairman for 2018.

His appointment was approved at a club executive meeting and will be ratified at a club EGM in the coming weeks.


His brother John was chairman in 1981 and 1982.

RUGBY

Dan Bigger returns as one three changes to the Wales team to play Ireland in Saturday’s Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium.

The Ospreys out half missed the first two rounds of the Championship with a shoulder injury, but has recovered to take the place of Rhys Patchell.

Wales are also boosted by the return of Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams to the back three.

Goerge North is on the bench, but there is no place in the squad for influential number 8 Taulupe Faletau.

The Irish squad were back training at Carton House this morning.

Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson and James Ryan are hoping to prove their fitness, before Joe Schmidt unveils his starting selection on Thursday.

It was feared that Furlong tore a hamstring during the win over Italy.

The Leinster prop is confident he will be back to face the Welsh, but former Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan is not so sure

SOCCER

Wigan say they’ll conduct a “full investigation” of the pitch invasion following last night’s shock 1-nil FA Cup fifth round win over Manchester City.

The League One side’s chief executive Jonathan Jackson says they were “disappointed” with the minority of fans who acted in an “inappropriate manner”.

He says “player and staff safety is of paramount importance”.

RACING

Robbie Power believes Noel Fehily is the perfect choice to partner Our Duke in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup next month.

Power has ridden the Jessica Harrington-trained eight-year-old on each of his 10 starts over jumps to date, most recently steering him to a narrow success over Presenting Percy in last Saturday’s Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park.

However, with Power having chosen to ride last year’s Gold Cup hero Sizing John in the blue riband on March 16, his stable companion required a new jockey and Harrington moved swiftly to snap up Fehily’s services.

Power said: “I’ll be riding Sizing John on the Friday of the Festival. It was always going to be a tough decision but it would have been extremely difficult to desert the reigning champion and I still believe it will take a very good horse to beat him. Jessie couldn’t have got a better man than Noel Fehily to replace me on Our Duke – he’s a top-class jockey.”

Our Duke was a brilliant winner of the Boylesports Irish Grand National on his final outing of last season, but flopped on his comeback run at Down Royal in November.