Wednesday Lunchtime Sports Update

RUGBY

Ian Keatley’s time at Munster has come to an end.

The 31 year old out half has joined London Irish on a short term contract.

Keatley has agreed to play for former Munster and Ireland coach Declan Kidney at the Exiles until the end of the season.

He will then move to Italy in the summer to join Benetton Treviso.

C-J Stander would not be surprised to see Sean O’Brien in the Ireland team to face England in the Six Nations on Saturday.

Joe Schmidt is preparing to name his team and is said to be considering a shock selection by handing Leinster centre Robbie Henshaw the full back role.

O’Brien is back in contention after breaking his arm during the November Test win over Argentina.

Schmidt has plenty of options in the back row, but fellow flanker C-J Stander would have no issue with O’Brien’s inclusion.

Mathieu Bastareaud has been left out of the France team for Friday’s Six Nations opener against Wales in Paris.

Coach Jacques Brunel has dropped his vice captain to hand 19 year old Romain Ntamack his debut at inside centre.

Cardiff scrum half Tomos Williams will make his Six Nations debut for Wales.

The 24 year old is slected ahead of Gareth Davies for the trip to the Stade de France.

SOCCER

The Reds can move a step closer to their first top flight title in 29 years by beating Leicester City at Anfield.

Manchester City’s defeat at Newcastle last night means Jurgen Klopp’s side can move seven points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

They needed a late James Milner goal to beat Crystal Palace in their last match 11 days ago.

The Liverpool manager feels this evening’s encounter could be just as testing.

Pep Guardiola insists Manchester City are still in the Premier League title race and Guardiola denies they took their eye off the ball.

Tottenham will lie just two points behind Manchester City if they beat Watford at Wembley this evening.

Spurs will be looking to return to winning ways after crashing out of two cup competitions inside the past week.

Juventus legend Gonzalo Higuain is set to make his Premier League debut in Chelsea’s game at Bournemouth.

Just goal difference separates struggling Southampton and Crystal Palace ahead of their meeting at St Mary’s.

Celtic will move six points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership table if they beat St Johnstone at Parkhead tonight.

Brendan Rodger’s men were 6-nil winners when the side met at McDiarmid Park earlier this season.

Manchester United’s hopes of reaching the Champions League quarter finals have received a big boost.

Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar has been ruled out of both of their last-16 ties.

The Brazilian striker broke a metatarsal last week and has now been ruled out for around three months.

RACING

A record number of Irish trained horses feature among the entries for the 2019 Grand National at Aintree on April 6th.

Mike Vince reports