Lunchtime Sports Update

RUGBY

Duncan Williams will start at scrum-half for Munster in their Heineken Champions Cup opener at Premiership leaders Exeter tomorrow.

Williams has been handed the nine shirt as Alby Mathewson has been ruled out with a knee-injury.


Centre Dan Goggin has been handed his first European start, he’s joined in midfield by Rory Scannell.

Mike Hale and Chris Cloete have also been recalled by head-coach Johann van Graan.

Munster team to play Exeter: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Dan Goggin, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Joey Carbery, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (C), Chris Cloete, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Rhys Marshall, James Cronin, John Ryan, Billy Holland, Tommy O’Donnell, Neil Cronin, JJ Hanrahan, Sammy Arnold.


Former Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll has been sharing his thoughts on what he feels Joey Carbery and Tadhg Beirne bring to Munster

Ireland internationals Jordi Murphy and Craig Gilroy have recovered from injury to start for Ulster against Leicester.

Full-back Michael Lowry and blindside flanker Marcell Coetzee will make their European debuts for the northern province while Marty Moore is among the replacements.

Caolin Blade replaces the injured Kieran Marmion at scrum-half for Connacht’s Challenge Cup match against Bordeaux.

Props Peter McCabe and Conor Care and hooker Shane Delahunt have been given their first starts of the season by head-coach Andy Friend.

Academy players Conor Fitzgerald and Colm de Buitlear are on the bench.

The road to St James’ Park begins this evening with holders Leinster hosting Wasps in the Heineken Champions Cup.

Leinster have won 26 of their 29 European games at the R-D-S with their most recent defeat against tonight’s opposition three seasons ago.

Leinster legend Brian O’Driscoll has been assessing the main threats to their crown
Kick off is at 7.45.

Ronan O’Gara has re-iterated his desire to coach Munster or Ireland in the future.

The world rugby hall of game inductee has been building his coaching experience abroad, working at Racing 92 for four years before joining Super Rugby champions Crusaders this season.

O’Gara says that while he’s enjoying life in New Zealand, he’s attracted by the prospect of returning home to work for his former sides

SOCCER

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has been handed a fitness boost ahead of tomorrow’s Nations League against Denmark at the Aviva Stadium.

Striker Shane Long, who had been nursing an ankle injury, took a full part in this morning’s training session at Abbotstown.

O’Neill says he has an entire squad to pick from tomorrow and they’re all ‘good to go’.

Ipswich winger Gwion Edwards has been called up to the Welsh national side.

They face Republic of Ireland in the Nations League on Tuesday.

Edwards has scored three goals in twelve Championship appearances this season.

Aaron Ramsey has confirmed that he’ll leave Arsenal on a free transfer next summer.

The Welsh midfielder claims the Gunners have withdrawn their offer of a new contract but he will see out his current deal and not look to move in January.

Ramsey says he thought they ‘were in a position’ to a deal before Arsenal’s u-turn.

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo has won the Premier League manager of the month award for September.

His side were unbeaten in four games with home wins against Southampton and Burnley, an away win at West Ham and an impressive performance at Old Trafford which saw them draw 1-1 with Manchester United.

Wolves are currently seventh in the Premier League.

Usain Bolt has his first goals for a professional team.

The Olympic sprint champion scored twice as Central Coast Mariners beat Macarthur South West 4-0 in a friendly.

Bolt is waiting to see if he’ll be offered a contract with the Australian A-League side.

CRICKET

Niall O’Brien says he’s retiring from international cricket with a ‘heavy heart’ after 16-years.

The Dubliner was prolific in front of and behing the stumps for his country, winning 216 caps.

O’Brien took 241 dismissals as wicket-keeper and leaves as Ireland’s fourth highest scoring batsman of all time, having registered over six-thousand international runs.

RACING

Ruby Walsh will make his latest return from injury at Limerick on Sunday.

The 12-time champion jockey has been booked for two rides by trainer Willie Mullins.

Walsh had been sidelined since a fall at Killarney in August.

Aidan O’Brien’s attention turns to The Everest tomorrow as July Cup winner US Navy Flag tackles the richest turf race in the world in Sydney, Australia.

US Navy Flag will be the first European-trained horse to contest the €8 million euro race.

O’Brien said they’re happy with the draw, in three, but the likelihood of soft ground is a concern as he prefers it good or quicker.

AWARD

Dublin football boss Jim Gavin has been named the Philips Lighting Sports Manager Month of the Month for September.

Gavin steered the Dubs to their fourth All-Ireland title in-a-row and fifth in the last six seasons this year – defeating Tyrone by six-points in the All-Ireland Final.

Since taking over in 2012, Dublin have won 17 major honours under his stewardship.

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