Lunchtime Sports Update

lunchtime sports

SOCCER

Dundalk manager Filippo Giovagnoli says his players won’t be anywhere near as nervous today as their last European outing.

The Lilywhites saw off Faroese side K-I to reach the Europa League group stages, with Molde of Norway the first opposition.

The Lilywhites’ Italian boss says they go into today’s game in a good place mentally

Kick-off at Tallaght Stadium is at five to six, with Arsenal’s trip to Rapid Vienna in the same group also underway at that time.

Spurs welcome Austrian club LASK to London, Celtic have Zlatan Ibrahimovic and AC Milan in Glasgow, and Leicester City will face Ukrainian side Zorya.

All of those games have 8pm starts.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder doesn’t believe a European Super League will be set up anytime soon.

Their opponents this weekend – Liverpool – are reportedly one of the clubs interested in forming a new elite competition for the world’s biggest teams.

Wilder says they should instead focus their efforts on looking after the English game.

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GAELIC GAMES

The Waterford senior footballers will not be travelling to Antrim for their Allianz Leagues Division Four clash this weekend.

Saturday’s game in Ballymena is now off after the away side announced they weren’t comfortable going to Northern Ireland with the Covid-19 situation as it is.

Waterford had said they would, and still are, happy to play the game in a neutral venue in the Republic of Ireland, but Antrim would only offer a venue further south in their county than Ballymena.

Reservations about travelling to the Belfast area and work concerns over any potential 14-day isolation period after heading north were highlighted.

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RUGBY

Kerrys Ciara Griffin will once again captain the Irish team as they welcome Italy this weekend.

Ireland Head Coach Adam Griggs has named the Ballymac woman at Number 8. She’ll be joined in the back row by Dorothy Wall who makes her debut and Claire Molloy who returns from a sabbatical to earn her 70th cap in a green jersey.

Lindsay Peat, Cliodhna Moloney and Linda Djougang all start in the front row for the fourth game in succession with Nichola Fryday and Ciara Cooney behind them in the second row.

Hannah Tyrell and Kathryn Dane form the half-back partnership with out-half Tyrell making her first start of the campaign.

Enya Breen and Sene Naoupu are the centres while Béibhinn Parsons, Lauren Delaney and Eimear Considine all link up in the back three.

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Meanwhile Dan Leavy is in line to make his long-awaited return to the pitch this weekend, as he’s named in the Leinster matchday 23.

Leo Cullen’s side face Zebre at a behind-closed-doors RDS tomorrow evening.

The Ireland international flanker has not played since suffering a horrific knee injury in the 2019 Champions Cup quarter-final victory over Ulster at the Aviva Stadium.
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Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones will equal the Test match appearance record when he captains them against France on Saturday.

The lock will play his 148th international game, matching the mark set by New Zealand’s Richie McCaw.

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GOLF

Rory McIlroy will be aiming to get his first tournament win in almost a year at the Zozo Championship, which starts today in California.

The Down star has not lifted any silverware since the HSBC Champions event in early November last year.

McIlroy will tee off later alongside Phil Mickelson and Webb Simpson for his opening round at Sherwood Country Club.

Cormac Sharvin is best of the Irish in the early stages of the Italian Open on the European Tour.

He sits on one-under par after 12 holes of his opening round.

Gavin Moynihan is level-par through 14, with leader Laurie Canter on 11-under.

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FORMULA ONE

Romain Grosjean has announced he’ll be leaving the Haas F1 team at the end of the season.

The French driver has been with the American outfit since they entered the sport in 2016.

The last six races of the current campaign are expected to be Grosjean’s last in Formula One as he is unlikely to secure a drive with another team.