Lunchtime Sports Update

RUGBY

Munster head-coach Johann van Graan says his team will need to be at their very best if they’re to win at Exeter in Pool 2 of the Heineken Champions Cup this afternoon.

The Chiefs sit top of the English Premiership, with six wins from six – collecting five attacking bonus points along the way.


With Conor Murray and Alby Mathewson both sidelined by injury, Duncan Williams will wear the nine shirt for the Reds while centre Dan Goggin starts in Europe for the first time.

van Graan is hoping last week’s Pro-14 game against Leinster will be good preparation for facing Exeter

Ulster have welcomed back Ireland internationals Craig Gilroy and Jordi Murphy for their Pool 4 clash with Leicester this evening.

Prop Marty Moore could also make his European bow for the northern province if sprung from the bench.

There’s a half-five kick-off at Kingspan Stadium.

Connacht’s Challenge Cup campaign opens with a home fixture against Bordeaux this afternoon.

Caolin Blade replaces the injured Kieran Marmion at out-half while academy players Conor Fitzgerald and Colm De Buitler are on the bench for the 3pm kick-off at the Sportsground.

SOCCER

The Republic of Ireland aim to avoid a run of three games without a win later.

They host Denmark in the Nations League, after a 1-1 draw away to Poland in a friendly, which came after going down 4-1 to Wales.

The Danes are set to be without Tottenham forward Christian Eriksen through injury.

Kick-off at the Aviva Stadium is at a quarter-to-eight.

The Republic of Ireland’s under-19s aim to make it two wins from two in European Championship qualifying later.

Having beaten Bosnia and Herzegovina midweek, Tom Mohan’s side host the Faroe Islands at Longford’s City Calling Stadium at 3pm.

Two Irish clubs are in third-round action in the Irn Bru Scottish Challenge Cup this afternoon.

Bohemians host Sutton United with Sligo Rovers away to Motherwell’s under-21s.

Both matches kick-off at 3pm.

Thierry Henry has been confirmed as the new manager of Monaco.

The club announced the news on Twitter with a picture from his early playing career along with the message “He’s Coming Home”.

Henry signed for the French side at the age of 17 – scoring 20 goals in 105 appearances.

His first game as manager will be away at Strasbourg next weekend in League 1, before a Champions League fixture at Club Brugge.

GOLF

Australian Marc Leishman, American Gary Woodland and India’s rising star Shubhankar Sharma share the lead at 19-under-par heading into the final round of the C-I-M-B Classic in Malaysia.

Louis Oosthuizen and Bronson Burgoon lead the chase at 17-under.

YOUTH OLYMPICS

Tanya Watson will look to qualify for the women’s 10-metres platform diving final this afternoon at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires.

Watson will have her first dive in the next few minutes.

Carrick-On-Suir’s Miriam Daly has her heat in the 400-metres hurdles this evening.

While gymnast Emma Slevin is in the final of the women’s vault and uneven bars.

GAELIC GAMES

It’s a meeting of the champions of the last two seasons in this afternoon’s Kildare Senior Hurling Championship Final.

Holders Ardclough, who are seeking their 14th title, take on 2016 winners Celbridge.

There’s a half-three start at Newbridge.

TENNIS

Novak Djokovic is through to the final of the Shanghai Masters tennis after beating Germany’s Alexander Zverev.

The Serbian won in straight sets and will now face either Roger Federer or Borna Coric in tomorrow’s final.

RACING

Aidan O’Brien, out of luck with US Navy Flag (9th) in The Everest at Randwick, was still on the score sheet in Australia at Caulfield where his Yucatan was a very easy winner of the Group 2 Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes under Kiwi rider James McDonald.

The Curragh Group 3 International Stakes winner last July scored by an eased down length and a quarter to enhance his prospects for the upcoming Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup.

It was a different story at Randwick though for US Navy Flag. The Ballydoyle trainer had expressed his fears beforehand following heavy rain that turned the ground heavy and his charge was well beaten under Ryan Moore as Redzel made every yard of the running to win the richest turf race in the world for the second successive year.