Thursday Morning Sports Update

SOCCER

A dream team of Mick McCarthy and Robbie Keane has emerged as the favourites to replace Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane as the Republic of Ireland management team.

The F-A-I have yet to reveal when they will appoint a successor, but are said to have started discussion with potential candidates.

McCarthy has expressed his interest in returning to the role he held between 1996 and 2002.

Keane had been linked with a place in the Under 21 set up earlier this month.

The management change has sparked a wider conversation about the structures of Irish football.

Former Republic of Ireland international Keith Andrews says things have been messy.


Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has announced he is retiring from football.

The 40-year-old striker won multiple trophies in two spells at Stamford Bridge – including four Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2012.

Drogba, who was capped more than 100 times for the Ivory Coast, was most recently playing for Phoenix Rising in the U-S-A.

RUGBY

Johnny Sexton says he and the rest of the Irish rugby players are in the dark over Joe Schmidt’s future.

The Ireland coach will reveal if he will renew his contract after Saturday’s November Test against the U-S-A at the Aviva Stadium.

Sexton was speaking after being named the Rugby Writers of Ireland Player of the Year for 2018.

He could become the first Irish man in 17 years to win the World Player of the Year in Monaco on Sunday, but admits All Black out half Beauden Barrett will be tough to beat.

Leinster out half Ross Byrne and Ulster scrum half John Cooney could be handed their first Ireland starts when the team to play America is announced this afternoon.

Joe Schmidt is tipped to select an entirely changed team from that which beat the All Blacks.

Munster centre Sammy Arnold looks set to earn his first cap.

BOXING

Kellie Harrington can secure a silver medal at the World Women’s Elite Boxing Championships in New Delhi today.

The Dubliner, who is already guaranteed a bronze, will return to the ring for a lightweight semi-final against Karina Ibragimova of Kazakhstan.

RACING

There is racing at Thurles this afternoon.

The first of a seven-race card goes to the post at 12.35.