Thursday Evening Sports Update

RUGBY

It’s been reported that Jonathan Sexton will miss Leinster’s crucial Pool 1 clash with Toulouse on Saturday.

The Irish Independent claim that a calf problem will see the world player of the year miss the game at the RDS.

Leinster coach Stuart Lancaster claimed earlier in the week that he’d have full faith in Ross Byrne in the number 10 jersey if called upon.  

SOCCER

Declan Rice is promising a decision on his international future “soon”.

The West Ham teenager has three Republic of Ireland caps to his name, but as they were all in friendlies he can still play for the country of his birth – England.

In an interview with the Evening Standard, Rice confirmed talks with Ireland boss Mick McCarthy, that also included his father and his brother Connor.

Rice has also spoken with England manager Gareth Southgate, and the 19-year old says both managers have given him time to make up his mind.


TENNIS

Roger Federer will begin the defence of his Australian Open title against world number 99, Denis Istomin.

The Swiss is in the same half of the draw as Rafa Nadal, who opens up against Aussie qualifier, James Duckworth.

Andy Murray’s first hurdle is the Spaniard, Roberto Bautista Agut.

Women’s top seed Simona Halep could face both Williams sisters en-route to a potential quarter final.

They’re all in the same section, with Halep facing Kaia Kanepi in round 1, while Serena Williams begins the defence of her title against Germany’s Tatjana Maria.