Thursday Lunchtime Sports Update

RUGBY

Robbie Henshaw is back in the Ireland team for Saturday’s Rugby World Cup match against Samoa.

The Leinster centre, who joins Bundee Aki in midfield, had missed all three of the previous games at the tournament due to a hamstring injury

Johnny Sexton is fit to start at fly-half, while Jordan Larmour replaces Rob Kearney at full-back.

Tadhg Beirne keeps his place in the back-row and head-coach Joe Schmidt has been explaining why the Munster forward has been retained

Ireland must win with a bonus point to guarantee their place in the quarter-finals.

Scotland are adamant contingency plans must be put in place for their game with Japan to go ahead.

Sunday’s game is in doubt due to a super typhoon – which has already caused England against France and New Zealand versus Italy to be called off.

If Scotland’s match is not played, Japan would advance to the quarter-finals ahead of them.

In a statement they added they “will be flexible” to accommodate a rearranged fixture.

Dave Kearney returns for defending champions Leinster for their Guinness PRO14 clash with Edinburgh at the R-D-S tomorrow evening.

He comes into the side on the right wing as one of three changes from last weekend’s rout of the Ospreys.

Leo Cullen has brought Max Deegan and Scott Penny into his back-row.

Munster head-coach Johann van Graan has made five changes for their game against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

Nick McCarthy and Tyler Bleyendaal form a new-look half-back pairing with Jeremy Loughman, Rhys Marshall and Billy Holland brought into the pack.

Former Australian Sevens star John Porch gets his first start for Connacht against the Dragons at Rodney Parade.

He’s been selected on the wing ahead of Stephen Fitzgerald with Kieran Marmion again among the replacements.

SOCCER

The Republic of Ireland’s under-21s host Italy in European Championships qualifying this evening.

Stephen Kenny’s side sit top of Group A, having won their first three games.

Kick-off at Tallaght Stadium is at five-past-eight.

Northern Ireland are in Rotterdam tonight to face the Netherlands in a crucial Euro 2020 qualifier.

A win would give Michael O’Neill’s side a great chance of reaching next year’s finals.

Northern Ireland won their first four qualifiers, but were beaten last time out by Germany.

Scotland take on Russia in Moscow looking to end a run of three straight defeats in their group.

Wales could move within a point of Group E leaders Croatia by winning away in Slovakia.

BOXING

Christina Desmond and Amy Broadhurst have missed out on medals at the women’s World Boxing Championships in Siberia.

Cork welterweight Desmond has lost her quarter-final to Turkey’s Busenas Surmeneli.

Amy Broadhurst also suffered defeat at the last-eight stage.

The Louth lightweight lost on an unanimous decision to Finland’s European champion Mira Potkonen.