Thursday Lunchtime Sports Update

lunchtime sports

GAELIC GAMES

Dublin forward Paul Mannion says manager Dessie Farrell has been empowering the players in their new setup.

Farrell has taken over from five-in-a-row winning boss Jim Gavin and the Dubs are preparing for a clash with rivals Kerry on the opening night of the new League season.

Mannion says his new manager has been consulting with the panel ahead of the campaign

GOLF

Defending champion Shane Lowry recovered from an early double bogey to open with a two-under-par round of 70 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

It leaves the Open winner trailing leaders Shaun Norris and Renato Paratore by six strokes with world number one Brooks Koepka (pron: kepka) two shots back at six-under.

Koepka is playing his first tournament since suffering a knee injury in October and he’s happy with his start

Padraig Harrington is four-over-par into day two after dropping five shots on his last five holes.

SOCCER

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits his decision to bring on Marcus Rashford in their 1-nil FA Cup third round replay win over Wolves last night “backfired”.

The striker had to be replaced, after playing just 16 minutes after landing awkwardly on his back.

He’s now a major injury doubt for their Premier League clash with Liverpool on Sunday and Solskjaer says that’s a blow.

Hearts manager Daniel Stendel says he’s tried to deal with the players he’s asked to leave the club, with as much “respect” as possible.

The German has told captain Christophe Berra to move on to pastures new and has also cancelled the contract of Glenn Whelan.

Hearts are bottom of the Scottish Premiership and Stendel says he needs to change things quickly.

TENNIS

Coco Gauff will face Venus Williams in the first round of the Australian Open.

15-year-old Gauff shocked Williams in straight sets at Wimbledon last summer.

Defending women’s champion Naomi Osaka will open against Marie Bouzkova.

Men’s world number one Rafa Nadal, who hasn’t won the title in Melbourne since 2009, faces Hugo Dellien in round one.

Novak Djokovic begins his defence against Jan-Lennard Struff.

RUGBY LEAGUE

Ireland have been drawn in a group with Lebanon, Jamaica and New Zealand for next year’s Rugby League World Cup.

Hosts England will face Samoa, France and Greece.

Wales are in the same group as Tonga, Papua New Guinea and the Cook Islands.

Scotland will face defending champions Australia, Fiji and Italy in their group.