Thursday Evening Sports Update

SOCCER

Keith Andrews has been confirmed as part of Stephen Kenny’s backroom team with the Republic of Ireland under-21 side.

The former international midfielder will take up the role while working towards achieving a UEFA Pro License.

Also working alongside Andrews will be Jim Crawford, who has previously worked as the under-18s head coach.

Meanwhile, Kenny’s named a purely domesticly-based squad for a February training camp.

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is hoping for a reaction from his players tonight against Tottenham in their League Cup semi-final second leg.

He blasted his side after their Premier League defeat to Arsenal at the weekend, questioning their mentality.

Tonight’s game kicks-off at 7.45 and Chelsea need to overturn a one goal deficit.

Newcastle look like appeasing manager Rafa Benitez – for now.

They’ve reportedly agreed a deal to sign Belgian international defender Jordan Lukaku on loan from Lazio.

Lukaku is the younger brother of Manchester United striker, Romelu Lukaku.

Benitez is known to want at least two arrivals in this transfer window, with the threat of him walking away from the spendthrift club still a reality.

Lukaku has made just seven Serie A appearances for Lazio this season, having missed the start of the campaign with a knee ligament injury.

RUGBY

Rob Kearney will captain a youthful Leinster side in tomorrow evening’s Pro 14 meeting with the Scarlets.

He’s been released from Ireland duty to offer him game time ahead of the Six Nations.

Seven academy players will start the game at the RDS, but there’s plenty of experience in the front row with Jack McGrath and Michael Bent both starting.

Robert Baloucoune, Marty Moore and Stuart McCloskey retain their places in an Ulster team that sees eight changes for their match against Benetton in Belfast.

Former Leinster out-half Ian McKinley will captain the Italian side.

RACING

Ruby Walsh has claimed victory in the Thyestes Handicap Chase.

He’s picked up just his second victory of 2019 by piloting 4-to-1 chance Invitation Only to victory in the feature at Gowran Park.

He edged out Gordon Elliott’s 20-to-1 chance Alpha des Obeaux into second, with another Mullins mount in Up For Review coming in third at 10-to-1.

Earlier, Presenting Percy underlined his credentials for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The ante-post favourite for the Prestbury Park showpiece made a winning return after 10-months out, with victory in the Grade 2 John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park.

The Davy Russell mount went off the 9-to-4 favourite for trainer Pat Kelly, and beat 11-to-2 chance Bapaume by a length-and-a-quarter.

As well as training Bapaume, Willie Mullins also trained third placed Killultagh Vic at a price of 10-to-1, and 6-to-1 shot Limini who came in fourth.

Despite a stern challenge, Russell had full faith that Presenting Percy could pull off the victory.