Thursday Evening Sports Update

RUGBY

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has laughed-off the suggestion that Saturday’s Six Nations opener with England could be boring.

England defence coach John Mitchell claimed this week that Ireland will look to make things dull at the Aviva.

Robbie Henshaw has been preferred at full-back for the hosts, with Jordan Larmour on the bench and Rob Kearney left out of the squad.

In the forwards, Josh van der Flier is selected at openside instead of his Leinster team-mate Sean O’Brien.

But whatever the result, Schmidt feels Saturday evening will be anything but boring.

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England head coach Eddie Jones says Manu Tuilagi (PR: Too-ill-laggy) is the perfect replacement for the injured Ben Te’o (PR: Tay-yo).

The Leicester man will partner Elliot Daly in the centre.

While fit-again Owen Farrell starts at out-half for Jones’ side.

SOCCER

With five hours left in the transfer window, Newcastle’s 20-million pound signing of Paraguayan midfielder Miguel Almiron from Atlanta United has been deadline day’s biggest deal.

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Earlier, Arsenal completed the loan signing of midfielder Denis Suarez from Barcelona.

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Several Irish players have secured loan moves today.

Graham Burke has left Championship side Preston for League One strugglers Gillingham.

Scott Hogan and Jake Doyle-Hayes have both left Aston Villa today, for Sheffield United and Cambridge United respectively.

And former Dundalk striker Dave McMillan has swapped St. Johnstone for fellow Scottish Premiership side Hamilton until the end of the season.

GAELIC GAMES

UCC have secured a home quarter final in the Fitzgibbon Cup with a 1-19 to 15-point win over NUI Galway.

The quarter final line-up will be completed this evening with five more games down for decision.

GOLF

Seamus Power is level par through his first four holes at the Phoenix Open.

The early lead there is jointly held by Emilian Grillo and Matt Kuchar – both of whom are 4-under.

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Paul Dunne is five-shots off the lead following the opening round of the Saudi International.

The Greystones man shot a 2-under par round of 68.

The lead is held by Belgium’s Thomas Pieters on 7-under par, and he’s 2-shots clear of a group of five.