Lunchtime Sports Update

SOCCER

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has trimmed his squad down to his matchday 23, ahead of tonight’s must-win Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark at the Aviva Stadium.

Four days on from his senior debut against New Zealand, teenage striker Troy Parrott has made the cut, as has Shamrock Rovers midfielder Jack Byrne.

McCarthy has left winger Callum O’Dowda and striker Scott Hogan out of his squad, for the game that kicks off at 7.45.

Ireland know that victory will secure their place at the Euro 2020 finals, but anything less will see them heading for the playoffs next March.

Shane Duffy will captain the side in the absence of the suspended Seamus Coleman.

Mick McCarthy says the Brighton centre back is a natural leader

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RUGBY

Tadhg Furlong is once again a fitness doubt for Leinster, ahead of Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup meeting with Lyon in France.

The tighthead prop missed Saturday’s win against Benetton with a back injury, and the province say he’ll continue to be assessed during the week.

Meanwhile centre Joe Tomane is also a doubt, having suffered a hamstring injury last week.

Number 8 Caelan Doris is nursing a shoulder injury, whle utility back Rory O’Loughlin has a shoulder complaint.

Sean Cronin will be unavailable once again, the hooker is continuing his rehab from a neck injury.

Munster have confirmed that the club will bid farewell to scrum half Alby Mathewson at Thomond Park this weekend as the Kiwi gets set to leave the club.

Mathewson joined on a short-term deal last season, before he was retained as cover while Conor Murry was away at the World Cup in Japan.

The four-cap All Black has played 27 times for the province, and is expected to line out for the final time this Saturday against Racing 92 at Thomond Park.

Saracens will not appeal against their 35-point deduction and 5-million-pound fine for breaching the Premiership’s salary cap.

The English and European champions had originally said they would fight the ruling.

Saracens chairman Nigel Wray said: “We have made mistakes and so, with humility, we must accept these penalties”.

RACING

Tralee jockey Phillip Enright teamed up with County Cork trainer Rodger Sweeney to win the 2m4f handicap hurdle with Lagenod at Fairyhouse on Tuesday. A strong 5/2 favourite, the seven-year-old scored by two and three parts of a length from Rightback Atya but the winning distance could easily have been more.

Enright was a winner again at Clonmel on Thursday where he teamed up with Mallow trainer Eoghan O’Grady to win the 3m handicap hurdle with the admirable Westerner Point. The 10-year-old notched up his 12th career success when beating the Martin Hassett-trained Mary Frances by a length at odds of 9/1 for the Thade Quill Syndicate.

Kevin Brouder teamed up with County Waterford trainer Robert Widger to win the 3m handicap hurdle at Punchestown on Saturday with Treacysenniscorthy. A strong 4/1 favourite, the seven-year-old made much of the running as he saw off the Padraig Roche-trained Walking On Glass by a length and three-quarters. Brouder was a winner again at the County Kildare venue the following afternoon where Charles Byrnes sent out another winning favourite on the card as Alpine Cobra took the 2m6f maiden hurdle. A well-backed even money chance, the six-year-old came from off the pace to win by a length and a half from the Henry De Bromhead-trained Fully Charged. It was Brouder’s 30th winner of the season.