Wednesday Lunchtime Sport Update

GAELIC GAMES

Former Mayo forward Billy Joe Padden thinks Galway have to be considered favourites ahead of this Sunday’s Connacht Senior Football Championship clash in Castlebar.

Galway reached the final of the National Football League and also registered a five-point win against Mayo in Salthill in February.

But Padden feels the Mayo management will have learned lessons from that encounter

AUDIO – PADDEN 

SOCCER

Huddersfield can secure their Premier League survival tonight.

A draw or win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge would be enough to keep them up.

Boss David Wagner says it would be a huge achievement

AUDIO – WAGNER

Chelsea will move level on points with Liverpool if they beat Huddersfield this evening.

But they can only end the night in the top four if Newcastle do them a favour against Tottenham.

Arsene Wenger’s penultimate game as Arsenal manager’s a trip to Leicester.

Champions Manchester City continue their pursuit of a 100 point season when they take on Brighton. 

RUGBY

Four of Joe Schmidt’s Ireland coaching team have signed new contracts through to the end of next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Forwards coach Simon Easterby, defence coach Andy Farrell, scrum coach Greg Feek and skills coach Richie Murphy have all put pen to paper on extensions to their deals with the I-R-F-U.

Feek will continue in his role, despite also taking up a position with Japanese club side Ricoh in the coming weeks.

I-R-F-U performance director says it ensures Ireland retain ‘a world class coaching group that has driven and sustained high levels of performance on the international stage’.

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Ulster look set to be without their new head-coach Dan McFarland until December.

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend says it’s ‘disappointing’ that his forwards coach has taken the job and insists that he’ll be serving out his nine-month notice period with the Scots.

Ulster had hoped to secure an early release to allow McFarland to begin work with them this summer.

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Scrum-half Luke McGrath is expected to start for Leinster in Saturday’s Champions Cup against Racing 92 after recovering from an ankle injury.

His inclusion would allow James Lowe to return on the wing with forward Scott Fardy taking the other ‘non-European’ place in the team.

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Former Leinster out-half Andy Dunne is not surprised that Stuart Lancaster wants to remain at the province.

Lancaster’s ruled himself out of the running for the vacant head-coach position at Avivia Premiership side Harlequins and says he’s ‘100 per cent committed to Leinster’.

CYCLING

BMC rider Rohan Dennis wears the leader’s pink jersey for today’s fifth stage of the Giro D’Italia.

The peloton have decamped to Sicily for a 153-kilometre stage from Agrigento to Santa Ninfa.

Dennis’ BMC team mate Nicolas Roche starts the day 37th on general classification.

TENNIS

Serena Williams looks like being a doubt for the French Open later this month after pulling out of another clay court tennis tournament.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion won’t be appearing at next week’s Italian Open in Rome.

Williams also decided to miss the current event in Madrid.

She returned to action in March, six months after giving birth to daughter Olympia.

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Andy Murray’s former tennis coach Mark Petchey says reports he’s suffered a setback in his rehabilitation from a hip injury are a concern.

The ex-world number one needed an operation on the problem in January – and hasn’t played competitively since going out of Wimbledon last year.


RACING

There’s a seven-race card at Gowran Park this evening where the first is off at 25-to-6.

In the UK they go at Chester, Kelso, Newton Abbott, Fontwell and Wolverhampton.