Thursday Lunchtime Sports Update

RUGBY

Joe Schmidt has made four changes to his Ireland side that will face Japan at the Rugby World Cup on Saturday morning.

Connacht’s Jack Carty comes in for the injured Johnny Sexton in what will be only his second ever start in an Irish jersey.

Rob Kearney, Keith Earls and Chris Farrell come in for Jordan Larmour, Andrew Conway and Bundee Aki.

Both Japan and Ireland go into the Pool A clash off the back of opening bonus point wins.

Irish scrum-half Conor Murray says the hosts won’t be an easy opposition.

Jack Conan was due to start but picked up an injury in training this morning and is no longer available.

The Ireland starting team in full is: Rob Kearney, Keith Earls, Garry Ringrose, Chris Farrell, Jacob Stockdale, Jack Carty, Conor Murray.

CJ Stander, Josh van der Flier, Peter O’Mahony, James Ryan, Iain Henderson, Tadhg Furlong, Rory Best, Cian Healy.

Munster’s Joey Carbery is named in the replacements.

Ireland Coach Joe Schmidt says although Sexton will be disappointed to miss out, it’s great to have such dept in the squad.

Conor O’Shea’s Italy have enjoyed a 48 points to 7 victory over Canada in their Pool B clash this morning.

England the USA in Pool C inside the hour at 11.45.

SOCCER

Manchester United will face Frank Lampard in round four of the Carabao Cup again this year.

This time the former Chelsea player will be on the line for the Blues after he knocked United out last season with Derby County.

Liverpool will be at home to Arsenal in the next round.

Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Caoimhín Kelleher may get a run-out at Anfield after keeping a clean sheet in his debut last night.

Burton will be at home to Leicester while Oxford will host Sunderland.

And Aston Villa will welcome midlands rivals Wolves to Villa Park.

GOLF (correct at 1pm)

Padraig Harrington has made a strong start to the Dunhill Links Championship.

Playing the Carnoustie course, where he won his first British Open title, Europe’s Ryder Cup Captain is currently 3 under par playing the 12th.

That’s three shots behind England’s Matthew Southgate who’s also playing Carnousie and Scotland’s Russel Knox who is in St Andrews.

Rory McIlroy is 2 under par through 10, Paul Dunne is one under playing the 8th and Graeme McDowell is level par after 13.

Reigning Open Champion Shane Lowry is one over par playing the 15th.

RACING

There’s an eight race card on soft ground at Gowran Park this afternooon with the first there going to post at twenty-to-two.

There are five meetings in the UK…

Perth, good to soft, 1.30

Newmarket, good at 1.50

Pontefract, good to soft, good in places, 2.15

Chelmsford City, standard, 4.55

Southwell, standard, 5.15