Thursday Evening Sports Update

RUGBY

Paddy Jackson is back in the Perpignan (PR: Pare-Pin-Yon) side that faces Connacht in the Challenge Cup tomorrow night.

It will be the first time the former Ireland out-half has faced an Irish province since his departure from Ulster.

Jackson’s return is one of 13 changes made from last week’s 22-10 defeat at the Sportsground.

Connacht head to the south of France without Bundee Aki, who has returned to New Zealand to get married.

David Horwitz partners Academy graduate Kieran Joyce in midfield.

While another Academy player, Conor Fitzgerald plays at out-half.

Ulster are unchanged for tomorrow’s Heineken Champions Cup meeting with the Scarlets at Kingspan Stadium.

Captain Rory Best will become the province’s all-time caps holder in Europe tomorrow night.


SOCCER

Celtic and Rangers are both battling for last-32 places in the Europa League tonight.

Celtic require at least a draw at home to Group B winners Salzburg from 8 to progress.

And in a tight Group G, Rangers know only a win away to Rapid Vienna will be good enough, and they’re underway at 5-to-6.

Lauren Koscielny is set to make his return to the Arsenal side after 7-months out with a ruptured Achilles.

Unai Emery’s side are already guaranteed top spot in Group E ahead of the visit of Qarabag (PR: Karra-bag).

And it will be a weakened Chelsea side that takes on Vidi in Hungary from 5.55.

DARTS

Alexandra Palace hosts the opening night of the PDC World Championships tonight.

The defending champion Rob Cross is the star attraction, and will face the winner of the round-1 meeting of Jeffrey De Zwaan and Nitin Kumar.

B-D-O women’s champion Lisa Ashton goes up against Jan Dekker.

While Jamie Lewis awaits the winner of the meeting of Cody Harris and Martin Schindler.