Lunchtime Sports Update

ATHLETICS

Phil Healy has become the first Irish athlete to advance from a heat at the World Indoor Athletics Championships since David Gillick in 2010.

The Cork athlete is through to the 400-metres semi-finals after finishing third in her heat in Birmingham.


Earlier Ciara Neville and Amy Foster failed to progress in the 60-metres.

2016 European outdoor medalist Ciara Magaeen has her 1500-metres heat this evening.

SOCCER

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown feels their players are letting down manager Arsene Wenger.

The Gunners were booed by supporters after last night’s 3-nil defeat to Manchester City at the Emirates.

Keown – who was commentating on B-B-C Five Live – doesn’t expect Wenger to walk away from his position but feels it’s a crisis period for the club

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher thinks the Arsenal board should convince Wenger to step down at the end of the season

Republic of Ireland legend John Giles thinks Wenger should have had a clear out last summer

Everton manager Sam Allardyce is hopeful that Republic of Ireland midfielder James McCarthy will be back for their pre-season this summer.

The 27-year-old had a successful operation on his double leg fracture and Allardyce says that while the club’s medical staff will make the final decision on the speed of his recovery, he thinks ‘with a bit of luck’ McCarthy will be fit for the start of next season.

McCarthy will return to Goodison Park to begin rehabilitation on his ankle in the coming days.

Tomorrow’s Championship game between Ipswich and Hull’s been postponed.

It joins Sheffield United’s match with Burton in being called off because of the bad weather.

Former Celtic manager Gordon Strachan says it would take a “heck of a job” for Brendan Rodgers to be tempted away from Celtic Park.

The ex Liverpool boss won a domestic treble with the Hoops in his first season and has been linked with a number of Premier League positions this season.

There were reports this week that the Northern Irishman would be considered by Arsenal if Arsene Wenger leaves this summer and Strachan says it would have to be a job of that scale to see Rodgers leave the Scottish champions

Development team coach Stuart Kettlewell and academy boss Steven Ferguson will take charge of Scottish Premiership strugglers Ross County until the end of the season.

Owen Coyle quit as boss after just five months.

They’re bottom of the table – but the new managerial duo will have to wait for their first game in charge.

Tomorrow’s match with Partick’s been called off on police advice because of the snow.

RUGBY

Ulster rugby head-coach Jono Gibbes is set to leave the province at the end of the season.

He took over all coaching responsibility at Kingspan Stadium in January – following the departure of former director of rugby Les Kiss.

Gibbes had agreed a new two-year contract but is returning home to New Zealand for ‘family reasons’.

Ulster say ‘a review of the coaching structure is ongoing’.

Kerry lock Ultan Dillane will start for Connacht in their Guinness PRO14 match at the Cheetahs tomorrow evening.

The only other change from last week’s win over Benetton sees Pita Ahki (pron: Peeta Ak-ee) comes into midfield to partner Eoin Griffin in the centre.

It’s a Conference B basement clash in rugby’s Guinness PRO-14 this evening.

Bernard Jackman’s Dragons take on the Southern Kings in South Africa at twenty-five-to-six.

The Kings go into the game seeking their first win in the competition – having lost all 16 games to date.

Edinburgh have confirmed they’ll no longer play rugby union matches at Myreside.

They announced last month their home games for the rest of the season will take place back at Murrayfield.

The Pro14 club say they’ll announce a permanent base “as soon as possible”.

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