Thursday Lunchtime Sports Update

RUGBY

The Munster side has been named by Head Coach Johann van Graan for tomorrow night’s Champions Cup clash against Gloucester at Kingsholm at 7.45pm.

Peter O’Mahony captains Munster with six changes to the side that defeated Connacht last weekend.

Chris Farrell keeps his place after receiving positive news on a knee scan this week.

Mike Haley, Rory Scannell, Conor Murray, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer and CJ Stander all come into the side.

Haley starts at full-back with Andrew Conway and Keith Earls on the wings.

Scannell and Farrell form the centre partnership with Murray and Joey Carbery in the half-backs.

Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell and Archer pack down in the front row with Jean Kleyn and Tadhg Beirne in the engine room.

O’Mahony, Tommy O’Donnell and Stander make up the Munster back row.

Rhys Marshall returns from injury and is named among the replacements with the hooker set to make his first appearance since October’s clash against Gloucester.

Munster: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Joey Carbery, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (C), Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Rhys Marshall, Jeremy Loughman, John Ryan, Billy Holland, Arno Botha, Alby Mathewson, Tyler Bleyendaal, Dan Goggin.


SOCCER

Republic of Ireland international Anthony Pilkington has joined Wigan Athetlic on an 18-month deal.

The 30-year-old, who has made nine appearance for the Boys in Green, has joined the Latics following a four-and-half-year spell at Cardiff City.

He helped the Welsh club secure promotion to the Premier League last season, but had fallen out of favour with manager Neil Warnock.

TENNIS

Andy Murray could be forced to pull out of the upcoming Australian Open.

The Scot is due to make his return to the Grand Slam next week, but looked in pain during a practice session with Novak Djokovic.

The former world number one is back in Melbourne a year after hip surgery, but struggled in the hit out with Djokovic which was played under match conditions.

Murray, who’s in the same side of the draw as defending champion Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, will play Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round.

Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova could meet in the third round of the Women’s singles.

World Number One Simona Halep may have to beat both Williams sisters to reach the quarter finals

Halep will start her campaign against Kaia Kanepi, who knocked her out of the U-S Open in the summer.


GOLF

Seamus Power flies the flag for Ireland at the U-S P-G-A Tour’s Sony Open, which tees off in Hawaii today.

2017 winner Justin Thomas in among the favourites to win the tournament.

Jordan Speith, Bubba Watson and Masters Champion Patrick Reed are also in the field.