Wednesday Morning Sports Update

SOCCER

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill feels some of his players are struggling with the step up to international football.

The Boys in Green are hoping to claim a moral boosting victory in their final game of the season against the U-S-A on Saturday.


Monday’s 2-nil defeat to France has left Ireland with just one win in five games.

O’Neill says the contrast between playing in the Championship and at international level is like ‘night and day’.

England defender Gary Cahill says Harry Kane’s the obvious choice to be captain for the World Cup.

The Tottenham striker got the role over several players, including the Chelsea centre-back – who’s the most experienced in the squad with 58 caps.

But Cahill says Kane is a natural skipper.

RUGBY

Ireland kick off their under-20 Rugby World Championship campaign against France in Perpignan this evening.

Wingers Dan Hurley and Tom Roche and centre Peter Sylvester are set to win their first caps in the game.

France won 34-24 when the sides met in the Six Nations in Bordeaux earlier this year.

Kick off is at 8 o’clock.

GAELIC GAMES

Waterford selector Dan Shanahan says they will have to deal with their injury crisis.

Three of their players including the influential Tadhg de Burca have been ruled out for the rest of the Munster Championship.

Noel Connors, Austin Gleeson and Pauric Mahony are also unavailable for Sunday’s crucial game against Tipperary.

With Maurice Shanahan also a doubt and Kevin Moran suspension, Waterford will be without their captain, free taker and top defender.

Dan Shanahan says they must cope will the set backs.

TENNIS

Women’s world number one Simona Halep kicks off her bid to win her first Grand Slam at the French Open this morning.

Last year’s beaten finalist faces unseeded American Alison Riske at Roland Garros.

Second seed Caroline Wozniacki takes on Georgina Garcia Perez in round two in Paris today.

Novak Djokovic continues his campaign against Jaume Munar of Spain.

Serena Williams says she feels like a warrior princess after making a wining return to Grand Slam tennis.

She beat Kristyna Pliskova in straight-sets in her first major match since giving birth.

Williams says the black catsuit she wore on court was a big help.

RACING

There’s a seven race card at Gowran Park this evening.

The first goes to post at the Kilkenny track at 5.55pm.

There are five meetings in the UK:

Beverly at 1.30
Cartmel at 2.10
Nottingham at 2.20
Warwick at 5.05
Ripon at 6.35.