Thursday Lunchtime Sports Update

SOCCER

The IRFU are likely to refuse any possibility of taking on the FAI’s 42 point 5 per cent stake in the Aviva Stadum.

Representatives of Irish Rugby’s governing body are due to meet with the Department of Sport today to discuss the FAI’s financial issues.

Minister for Sport Shane Ross told the Oireachtas Joint Committee for Transport Tourism and Sport yesterday that the FAI had this week sought a bailout of 18-million euro.

The Republic of Ireland will finish 2019 in 34th place in the FIFA world rankings.

Belgium remain top of the latest standings with France and Brazil completing the top three.

England are fourth with Wales 22nd, Northern Ireland 36th and Scotland 50th.

Liverpool have completed the signing of Takumi Minamino ((pron: tack-uh-mee min-ah-mee-no)).

The Red Bull Salzburg attacking midfielder will join the Premier League leaders on January 1st, for a fee believed to be a little over 7-million pounds.

The Japan international has 11 goals in 22 appearances for his country.

ANTI-DOPING

Russia’s anti-doping agency RUSADA are set to lodge an appeal against their athletes being banned from major international events.

The World Anti-Doping Agency handed Russia a four-year suspension earlier this month for anti-doping violations.

The case is likely to be heard by the Court or Arbitration for Sport next month.

DARTS

Limerick’s Willie O’Connor will look to cause an upset at the P-D-C World Darts Championship tonight.

He faces third seed Gerwyn Price in the final second round match of the night at Alexandra Palace.

James Wade progressed safely into the third round last night.

The three time semi-finalist beat Ritchie Edhouse 3-0.

RUGBY UNION

Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw has announced his retirement from international rugby union.

The 34-year old has 76 caps to his name and is second on the all-time points list for his nation with 714.

Laidlaw led Scotland 39 times and has called the decision one of the hardest of his career.

New All-Blacks coach Ian Foster has drafted former Ireland assitant coaches John Plumtree and Greg Feek into his backroom team.

Feek joins the New Zealand set-up as scrum coach with Plumtree set to work as forwards coach.

Foster has also opted to retain the services of defence coach Scott McLeod.

RACING

The board of Horse Racing Ireland say Tipperary is their preferred location for a second all-weather track.

But they insist approval can’t be granted due to a lack of funding at present.

H-R-I chief Brian Kavanagh says they want Tipperary to join Dundalk in being an all-weather venue but they need the finances to be in place for the development.