Morning Sports Update

RUGBY

Six Nations champions Ireland begin their Test series with Australia in Brisbane this morning.

Head coach Joe Schmidt has rested a number of players from the Pro14 and European Champions Cup winning Leinster side.


Flanker Peter O’Mahony will captain the side in place of the injured Rory Best.

The game’s at 11.05.

(Starts 2040 BST)

Prop Rob Evans will start for Wales this evening after injury ruled out Wyn Jones from their opening Test with Argentina.

Jones will be sidelined for the rest of their summer tour after hurting his calf in training.

Today’s match in San Juan is followed by a trip to Santa Fe next Saturday.

(Starts 0200 Sun)

Scotland are in action in the very early hours of tomorrow against Canada.

Edinburgh flanker Jamie Ritchie and Harlequins’ James Lang will make their international debuts from the start.

Uncapped pair Adam Hastings and Lewis Carmichael are on the bench.

England get their summer tour to South Africa underway at 4.05.

Eddie Jones’ side start the 3-Test series in Johannesburg – looking for their first win at Ellis Park since 1972.

SOCCER

Dundalk have reclaimed top spot in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division,

Patrick Hoban scored a hatrick as the Lilywhites earned a 4 – 0 victory over Limerick.

The victory moves them 2 points clear of Cork City.

Meanwhile, Derry City have climbed up to 4th in the division.

The Candystripes made the most of St Patrick’s Athletic’s 2 – 0 defeat to Waterford – as they beat Bohemians 2 – 1 away from home.

In the First Division, UCD stretched their advantage at the top of the table to 4 points following a 2 – 0 win over second placed Drogheda United.

Elsewhere there were wins for Shelbourne, Finn Harps and Cabinteely.

The Republic of Ireland now sit third in their World Cup Qualifying Group.

The girls in green fell to their second successive defeat, as they went down 2 – 0 to Norway.

The Norwegians now sit 2 points ahead of Colin Bell’s side in Group 3.

Irish teenager Conor Masteron has been offered a new contract by Liverpool FC.

The 19-year-old joined the reds from Lucan United in 2012.

Huddersfield have completed the club record signing of Terence Kongolo – for a fee the Premier League side say will remain undisclosed.

The Netherlands full-back made 17 appearances for David Wagner’s side while on loan last season.

He’s now signed a four-year contract to make the move from Monaco permanent.

Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish has been knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

The former Anfield player and manager has been recognised for his support to the families of the Hillsborough disaster.

Bournemouth and England striker Jermain Defoe receives an OBE for services to charity.

GAELIC GAMES

The opening round of the All-Ireland Football qualifiers gets underway today with 7 counties set to exit the championship.

Tony Leen, Irish Examiner, looks ahead to the later games in the All-Ireland Football Qualifiers

Last years beaten All-Ireland finalists Mayo travel to the Gaelic Grounds to face Limerick.

2017 Ulster champions Tyrone are also on the road, Mickey Harte’s side go to Meath.

Elsewhere, Derry host Kildare, Offaly meet Antrim, Cavan go to Wicklow and Westmeath play Armagh.

The day’s action gets underway at 1:30 when Wexford host Waterford.

A place in the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Final is on the line at Nowlan Park where Kilkenny and Wexford go head to head.

Galway await the winners in the decider.

The Tribesmen play Dublin in their final game of the round robin section of the provincial championship at Pearse Stadium.

BOXING

Kellie Harrington will look to book her place in the semi finals of the European Women’s Elite Championships later today.

The Dublin lightweight takes on Ukranian Iulia Tsyplakova in the last 8.



TENNIS

Sloane Stephens looks to win her second Grand Slam title this afternoon when she faces Simona Halep in the French Open Final.

Meanwhile, Halep will be bidding to claim her first major title in four finals.

The women’s singles decider gets underway at 2.

MOTORSPORT

(Third practice 1600 BST, Qualifying 1900 BST)

Britain’s Lewis Hamilton will go into qualifying for the Canadian F1 Grand Prix later on the back of a mixed couple of practice sessions.

The championship leader came second and fourth in his first two runs in Montreal.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen topped the timesheets on both occasions.

Hamilton has a 14-point lead over nearest title rival Sebastian Vettel going into Sunday’s race.



BOXING

(Starts 2230 approx)

Tyson Fury returns to boxing for the first time since November 2015 tonight.

The former heavyweight world champion takes on Albanian Sefer Seferi in Manchester.

Fury will go into the fight over four stone heavier than his opponent – despite losing considerable weight to make his comeback.

A combination of personal issues and a ban has prevented him from competing since beating Wladimir Klitschko.

RACING

There could be close to €1 million up for grabs in the Tote Pick 6 at the Curragh today and, all you need to do to win or share in the massive prize pool, is pick the first six winners on the card. There is €493,421 already rolled over into the pot.

The first of six legs is the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden (2.10) where Cardini and Decrypt are likely to be the two most popular runners for Pick 6 punters.

The feature race of the afternoon is the McDonnell’s Bar June Fest Silver Stakes (3.55), a Listed race over one mile and two furlongs, and Ger Lyons will fancy his chances of scooping the pot with the fast-improving

Mutajeer who got within two lengths of Cliffs Of Moher on his latest start in a Group 2 race at Naas.

The going at the Curragh on Saturday is good to firm.

There was a surprise winner of the opening Studio One At The Silken Thomas Irish EBF Maiden at the Curragh on Friday night as Jim Bolger’s Copia Verborum came home strongly to score at 33-1 under Kevin Manning.

The Coolcullen, County Carlow-based trainer was initially set to run a brace of colts in the 5.25 race but his other representative Vocatus had a temperature this morning, leaving jockey Kevin Manning free to switch over to ride this well-bred debut winner.

The fine run of brothers Joseph and Donnacha O’Brien continued at the Curragh on Friday night as two-year-old colt Dom Carlos stretched clear in impressive style to win the Paddy Power Irish EBF Median Auction Race over 5f.

Owned by Martin O’Sullivan and the Annus Mirabilis Syndicate, the blinkered colt provided his sire Gale Force Ten, who Joseph O’Brien rode to victory in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, with a first success as a stallion.

The Prix La Barka takes place at Auteuil in France on Saturday, due off at 5.45pm, and Ireland’s champion trainer Willie Mullins has a strong hand in the valuable Grade 2 with five of the 13 runners.

The mount of David Mullins, Shaneshill, makes his first visit to Paris of the spring, having won this race last May before going on to run a fine third in the Grande Course three weeks later. Bapaume ran on in fine style to grab second behind De Bon Coeur in the Grande Course, while Yorkhill cut out much of the running when giving Danny Mullins no peace in front but stayed on well to be sixth. The Mullins quintet is completed by Asthuria – who won at Limerick over fences last time – and Coral Cup winner Bleu Berry, the mount of James Reveley.

Stormy Ireland made her hurdling debut at Auteuil when trained by Dominique Bressou and leads a three-strong challenge for Mullins in the Prix Questarabad (5.10) off the back of a confidence-boosting win at Killarney.

Baie Des Iles was a major gamble for the Grand National before being hampered at Foinavon on the second circuit. Trainer Ross O’Sullivan has taken a leaf out of his father-in-law Ted Walsh’s book in sending the seven-year-old out for compensation in a race Seabass finished sixth in five years ago – the Prix des Drags (6.15).