Lunchtime Sports Update

SOCCER

Three Irish teams are in action in the Europa League qualifiers this evening.

Shamrock Rovers are in Norway to face Brann at 6pm Irish time.

Cork City host Progres Niederkorn at Turner’s Cross at 7.45pm with Saint Pat’s taking on Swedish side Norrkoping (PR: Nor-shopping) at Richmond Park at the same time.

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Meanwhile, Frank Lampard says Shay Given wanted to stay with Derby County rather than follow him to Chelsea.

Former Ireland international Given has opted to remain as goalkeeping coach under new Derby boss Philip Cocu.

And Lampard, who watched his Chelsea side draw 1-all in a friendly against Bohemians last night, is wishing his former coach well

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Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny has refused to go on their pre-season tour of America.

The French defender is being linked with a move to Bordeaux.

Koscielny’s heading into the last year of his contract at Arsenal.

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Elsewhere, it’s being reported that Steve Bruce is in talks with Newcastle over the vacant manager’s role.

Sheffield Wednesday boss Bruce is a boyhood fan of the Magpies.

Earlier former Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce revealed that he’s turned down the chance to return to Saint James Park.

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And Premier League new boys Aston Villa have signed Ezri Konsa from Brentford for a reported fee of 12-million pounds.

The defender links up with his old manager Dean Smith at Villa.

Konsa was part of the England squad that won the Under-20s World Cup in 2017.

TENNIS

Former world number one Simona Halep continues her quest for a first Wimbledon title today.

The Romanian faces Ukrainian Elina Svitolina in the semi-finals.

Svitolina has the upper hand, having won 4 of their past 7 previous meetings.

But Halep says that has no bearing on today’s match:

That’s followed by the second semi-final between 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams and the unseeded Barbora Strycova.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal is sure it will mean plenty to both players when he renews his rivalry with Roger Federer at Wimbledon in the men’s semis.

Tomorrow’s contest will be their first at the tournament since the Spaniard won an epic final in 2008.

GOLF

Padraig Harrington is four-under-par after his first round at the Scottish Open.

He’s three shots behind leader Andy Sullivan who’s in the clubhouse on 7 under.

Paul Dunne is one-under through 12 holes while Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy tee off inside the hour.