Thursday Lunchtime Sports Update

SOCCER

James McClean has had abusive packages sent to him at the Stoke City training ground.

Potters manager Gary Rowett has revealed the news and says it is over the Republic of Ireland international’s refusal to wear a poppy.

The 29 year old was abused by fans at last week’s Championship draw with Middlesbrough, and warned by the English F-A for calling his abusers “cavemen” on social media.

Rowett says Stoke have spoken to the Derryman about his response, which he describes as understandable but ill-judged.

Chelsea can call on the fit-again Eden Hazard for tonight’s Europa League game at BATE Borisov.

Victory in Belarus will secure the Group L leaders passage to the knockout phase.

Striker Alvaro Morata hasn’t travelled to Belarus, despite getting three goals in their last two Premier League games.

But boss Maurizio Sarri (pron: sar-ree) believes the Spaniard will benefit from a break from playing.

A home win over Sporting Lisbon will see Arsenal progress from Group E.

New Gunners boss Unai Emery won the tournament three times with Sevilla.

The Spaniard says it would be a big achievement to reach the last 32 tonight.

Celtic need a win at home to R-B Leipzig to keep alive their hopes getting out of Group B.

Steven Gerrard’s Rangers are top of Group G and unbeaten ahead of their game away to Spartak Moscow.

RUGBY

Will Addison could be handed his first start for Ireland on Saturday.

The Ulster player is being tipped to be named at full back for Saturday’s November Test against Argentina at Lansdowne Road.

Rob Kearney looks set to be ruled out due to shoulder injury, but Jordan Larmour and Andrew Conway are also in the running for the number 15 shirt.

Addison came off the bench to make his international debut against Italy in Chicago at the weekend.

The 26 year old former Sale Sharks captain is thrilled to be working with Joe Schmidt.

Schmidt is expected to name a much changed team with Rory Best and Sean O’Brien among those recalled.

The Ireland captain missed the summer tour to Australian, while O’Brien hasn’t played for the international side in almost a year.

Kieran Marmion looks set to join Johnny Sexton in the half backs.

Argentina have already named their team.

Captain Pablo Matera, out half Nicolas Sanchez and hooker Agustin Creevy are among those who also started the Puma’s World Cup quarter final win over Ireland in Cardiff in 2015.

Experienced lock Guido Petti is named in the back row for the first time.

GOLF

Sergio Garica holds a two-shot lead during the opening round of the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa.

The Spaniard lies on 6 under par after 15 holes.

Rory McIlroy holds a share of 5th place on 3 under.

Shane Lowry is a 1 under

Padraig Harrington is 3 over

Paul Dunne birdied his final hole, but has reached the clubhouse on 6 over.