Lunchtime Sports Update

RUGBY

The Irish rugby team have held their eve of match ‘Captain’s Run’ at the Aviva Stadium as the countdown continues to tomorrow’s clash with Wales.

Leinster prop Andrew Porter and Munster’s Chris Farrell are preparing for first Six Nations starts.


They have come into a team who have lost the Lions trio of Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson and Robbie Henshaw due to injury.

Provincial team mate Keith Earls says 6 foot 4 Farrell is an able replacement in the centre
SOCCER

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is hopeful that Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey will be back in his team for Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City.

They missed last night’s Europa League tie with Ostersunds due to illness and injury.

Ramsey has been struggling with a persistent groin problem for most of the season, and will undergo a fitness test tomorrow.

GAELIC GAMES

G-A-A delegates from around the world are arriving for the Association’s Annual Congress which gets underway at Croke Park this evening.

It will be the last congress for outgoing Ard Stuirithour Paraic Duffy and President Aoghan o Fearghal, who will hand over the reins to incoming Uachtaran – Dubliner John Horan from the Na Fianna club.

Ahead of the gathering, the G-A-A, the Camogie Association and the Ladies Gaelic Football Association have begun moves to develop closer ties.

Among the motions for debate is the prohibition of sponsorship from betting companies.

HORSE RACING

Ireland’s champion trainer Willie Mullins will rely on sole challenger Bellshill in his bid to extend his winning sequence in tomorrow’s At The Races Bobbyjo Chase, one of six runners declared for the Fairyhouse Grade 3 event.

Mullins has won this race five times in the last seven years including with Pleasant Company 12 months ago and Boston Bob in 2016. Going further back his Hedgehunter, successful for the Closutton trainer in 2005, went on to capture the Aintree Grand National afterwards.

Gordon Elliott won the Bobbyjo Chase in 2013 and 2015 with Roi Du Mee and the Cullentra House trainer is represented with Lord Scoundrel and Mala Beach while the €45,000 contest over 3m1f due off at 3.30pm is completed by Noel Meade-trained A Genie In Abottle, Val De Ferbet from the Andrew McNamara stable and the Steve Mahon-trained Champagne Harmony.