Red Star Belgrade train at the Tottenham Stadium ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League clash with Spurs. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/Getty/AFP

The Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the Rugby World Cup with The Irish Times sports team

Japan’s players and staff after their Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat to South Africa. Photograph: Kimimasa Mayama/EPA

The Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the Rugby World Cup with The Irish Times sports team

Ireland give New Zealand a guard of honour in Tokyo. Photograph: Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty

‘Abysmal’ Ireland see limited game plan brutally exposed by the All Blacks in Tokyo

Ardie Savea starts for New Zealand against Ireland on Saturday. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty

New Zealand can avenge last year’s defeat by sticking to their natural attacking game

Joe Schmidt speaks to his Ireland squad ahead of Saturday’s clash with the All Blacks. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the Rugby World Cup with The Irish Times sports team

 Johnny Sexton has again showed how vital he is to Ireland’s cause on the pitch during thei Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Hiroshi Yamamura/EPA

Patrick Madden looks at Joe Schmidt’s side as they face down the world champions

 Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga of the All Blacks run through drills during a  training session at Tatsuminomori Seaside Park  in Tokyo. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Patrick Madden looks at the side Steve Hansen has picked to face up against Ireland

New Zealand fullback Beauden Barrett holds on to South Africa winger Cheslin Kolbe  during the  Rugby World Cup Pool B game at Yokohama International Stadium. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

It could be a game for the ages. Here is everything you need to know

Aaron Connolly shoots after coming off the bench for Ireland against Georgia. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

McCarthy’s men head to Geneva knowing a win would secure their place at Euro 2020

Japan celebrate their victory over Scotland in Yokohama. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty

The Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the Rugby World Cup with The Irish Times sports team

Samoa perform the Siva Tau before their 38-19 defeat to Japan. Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty

Joe Schmidt’s side know a victory in Fukuoka should ensure their place in quarter-finals

Garry Ringrose has played 240 minutes of rugby in 11 days in Japan. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the Rugby World Cup with The Irish Times sports team

Japan’s wing Kotaro Matsushima scores the crucial fourh try in his side’s win over Samoa. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty

The Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the Rugby World Cup with The Irish Times sports team

Japan’s Kotaro Matsushima saw his side’s crucial fourth try against Samoa. Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty

Rugby World Cup: Fourth try at the death against Samoa means hosts stay in control of Pool A

Rob Kearney carries to score Ireland’s opening try during their victory over Russia. Photograph: Jayne Russell/Inpho

Thursday’s bonus-point win over Russia puts Schmidt’s men one victory from last eight

Joe Schmidt’s Ireland are looking to bounce back against Russia on Thursday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Joe Schmidt’s side look to get their tournament back on track against Bears in Kobe

Conor Murray after Ireland’s defeat to Japan. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Defeat to Japan is damaging but Schmidt’s side still have control of their own destiny

Japan celebrate after their famous win over Ireland in Shizuoka. Photograph: Jiji Press/EPA

Famous victory for the Brave Blossoms was a shock but it was also thoroughly deserved

James Ryan continues in the secondrow alongside Iain Henderson against Japan. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

All you need to know for Joe Schmidt's team's second pool game in Shizuoka

George North scores Wales’ sixth try against Georgia. Photograph: EPA/Jiji Press

The Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the Rugby World Cup with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Greig Laidlaw consoles John Barclay during Scotland’s 27-3 in Yokohama. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty

A dominant Irish performance and a dismal Scotland showing create the perfect storm

South Africa’s Cheslin Kolbe tackles Beauden Barrett during his side’s defeat to the All Blacks in Yokohama. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty

The Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Ireland prepare for Scotland in Yokohama. Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty

All you need to know as Joe Schmidt’s side begin their 2019 campaign in Yokohama

Referee Nigel Owens holds the whistle that will be used in the opening Rugby World Cup match, alongside the Webb Ellis Cup. Photograph: Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Steve Smith returns for the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Bundee Aki on the ball during Ireland’s recent win in Cardiff. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Patrick Madden looks at the 31-man party Joe Schmidt has picked to travel to Japan

Jack Leach runs to congratulate Ben Stokes after his stunning 135 not out steered England to victory at Headnigley. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Maro Itoje celebrates Saracens’ 2019 Heineken Cup final victory over Leinster. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Munster and Ulster face opening away trips as Connacht welcome Montpellier to Galway

Jofra Archer took 6-45 as England bowled Australia out for 179 at Headingley. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Séamus Callanan heads down the Croke Park tunnel with Liam MacCarthy. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Chris Jordan presents Jofra Archer with his Test cap at Lord’s. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

CFR Cluj manager Dan Petrescu celebrates his side’s victory over Celtic at Parkhead. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

 Manchester City players celebrate with the Premier League trophy after winning the title at   Brighton back in May. Photograph:  Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Key men, ones to watch, transfers in and out and predictions for all 20 teams

A view of the Principality Stadium, where Ireland will meet Wales on August 31st. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Joe Schmidt’s side are in the Welsh capital for their penultimate World Cup warm-up

Wexford’s Paul Morris is tackled by Tipperary’s Padraic Maher during the All-Ireland SHC semi-final in Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Intimate world of hurley manufacturing still fuelling a national obsession

Toners of Lr Baggot St. Includes a bustling yard out the back that can be suitable for early and late season fixtures. Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho

Premier League gets underway this weekend, including Man United against Chelsea

The Rugby World Cup will be Warren Gatland’s Wales swansong. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Grand Slam winners can mount a serious challenge as Warren Gatland bids farewell

AJ MacGinty in action for the USA against Ireland in 2017. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Gary Gold’s side faced with a daunting pool but have AJ MacGinty steering the ship

Uruaguay’s Felip Berchesi in action against Australia at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty

Spirited Los Teros will to well to avoid anything other than four pool stage defeats

Beauden Barrett in action against South Africa during the Rugby Championship. Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty

Steve Hansen’s side are bidding to lift the Webb Ellis Cup for a third-straight time

Sonatane Takulua kicks for goal during a RWC warm-up clash with Fiji. Photograph: Dave Rowland/Getty

Pacific Islanders will be relishing the chance to face France after famous victory in 2011

Herschel Jantjies scores his match-saving try for the Springboks against the All Blacks. Photograph: Mark Tantrum/Getty

Rassie Erasmus has returned an exciting South Africa side back towards their best

Antoine Dupont is one of the shining lights of French rugby. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Les Bleus look dysfunctional but the likes of Ntamack and Dupont offer glimmer of hope

Tedo Abzhandadze, Karlen Asieshvili and Mirian Modebadze celebrate a try during their recent warm-up defeat to Scotland in Tbilisi. Photograph: Levan Verdzeuli/Getty

Lelos have a rare chance to prove themselves against Tier One opposition in Japan

Viliame Mata carries for Edinburgh in their Champions Cup quarter-final defeat to Munster. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

McKee’s side have more history to make after wins over France and the Maori All Blacks

Maro Itoje scores England’s fourth try during their heavy win over Ireland at Twickenham. Photograph: David Davies/PA

Eddie Jones’s side should go close in Japan with their big guns fit and firing in warm-ups

Plenty will be resting on the shoulders of captain Michael Hooper in Japan. Photograph: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo/Getty

Australia’s win over the All Blacks shows they can still match anyone on their day

Argentina captain Pablo Matera in action against the All Blacks. Photograph: John Davidson/Inpho

Super Rugby finalists will supply the core of Mario Ledesma’s Pumas squad in Japan

Rassie Erasmus has sparked an impressive renaissance from the Springboks. Photograph: Ross Setford/Reuters

World Champions and South Africa look sure to qualify from uncompetitive group

Manu Tuilagi celebrates a try against Ireland at Twickenham. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty

An opening round clash between Les Bleus and Los Pumas is a mouth watering start

Scotland’s Finn Russell in action duringhis side’s win over France at Murrayfield in August. Photograph: Ian Rutherford/PA

An opening meeting between Celtic cousins in Yokohama likely to decide pool winners

Wales celebrate victory over England in August. Photograph: Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty

Gatland’s side have peaked at the right time but Australia have beaten the All Blacks

England’s James Anderson returns to the fold for today’s opening Ashes Test at Edgbaston. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

The scoreboard at Lord’s showing England’s first innings total of 85 all out against Ireland. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Inpho

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Eoin Morgan’s England take on Australia in the World Cup semi-finals at Edgbaston on Thursday. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Virat Kohli in action during’s India’s rain-affected World Cup semi-final against New Zealand. Photograph: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Cori Gauff was beaten in straight sets by Simona Halep to end her dream run at Wimbledon. Photograph: Tony O’Brien/Reuters

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan celebrate after the USA’s World Cup final win over the Netherlands. Photograph: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Frankie Dettori after his Ascot Gold Cup win on Stradivarius. Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Frankie Detorri and Crystal Ocean were victorious at Royal Ascot on Wednesday. Photograph: lan Crowhurst/Getty

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Rory McIlroy is hoping for a fast start in this week’s US Open. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Alex Morgan scored five as the USA demolished Thailand 13-0. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Joseph Chipolina’s own goal gave Ireland the lead against Gibraltar. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Maurizio Sarri celebrates with the trophy after Chelsea’s Europa League final win over Arsenal. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Chelsea train at Baku’s Olympic Stadium ahead of the Europa League final. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

The Pro14 trophy outside Celtic Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

All you need to know ahead of the final game of the season at Glasgow’s Celtc Park

CJ Stander provided physicality for Munster on a day they were outgunned by Leinster. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Joey Carbery faces his old teammates on Saturday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

All you need to know ahead of the Pro14 semis including Ulster’s trip to play Glasgow

Ireland defender Richard Keogh celebrates Derby’s win over Leeds with Jack Marriott. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Alex Bjork of Sweden plays a shot on the 18th hole during a practice round prior to the 2019 PGA Championship at the Bethpage Black course in Bethpage, New York. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The second Major of the year gets underway at Bethpage Black in New York on Thursday

Saracens celebrate their Champions Cup victory over Leinster. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Vincent Kompany lifts the Premier League trophy after Man City’s 4-1 win at Brighton. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Saracens celebrate their win over Leinster in Newcastle. Photograph: Andrew Fosker/Inpho

There’s plenty of praise for Saracens’ power game as number eight steals the headlines

Billy Vunipola carries during Saracens’ final win over Leinster. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty

Patrick Madden runs the rule over the European champions after their final victory

Johnny Sexton trains ahead of Leinster’s Heineken Cup final clash with Saracens. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

All you need to know as Leinster bid for a fifth European Cup crown in Newcastle

Lionel Messi curls in Barcelona’s third against Liverpool. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Daley Blind celebrates Ajax’s first leg win over Tottenham in London. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum is already signed up to play in the Euro T20 Slam. Photo: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

New tournament will take place in Dublin, Edinburgh and Amsterdam

Ajax manager Erik ten Hag ahead of his side’s clash with Spurs in London. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Burnley goalkeepr Tom Heaton reacts after Sergio Aguero scored Manchester City’s winner at Turf Moor. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Shane Long scored the fastest goal in Premier League history for Southampton at Watford. Photograph: David Klein/Reuters

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Rory McIlroy opened with a 73 at Augusta. Photograph: Kevin C Cox/Getty

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Tottenham celebrate Son’s winner against Manchester City. Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Runners and riders jump Canal Turn on the first time of asking during the 2018 Randox Health Grand National at Aintree Racecourse. Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Tiger Roll the hot favourite to retain crown in the world’s most famous steeplechase

Tottenham Hostpur beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at the fist game in their new stadium. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Ashley Young was sent off during Manchester United’s defeat to Wolves. Photograph: Andrew Yates/Reuters

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Aaron Ramsey scores Arsenal’s opener against Newcastle. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Aiden O’Shea celebrates Mayo’s victory over Kerry. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Antoine Dupont scores a try for Toulouse during their win over Racing 92. Photograph: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty

Munster face a daunting trip to Saracens as defending champions face familiar foes

Leinster’s Johnny Sexton and Ross Byrne in training ahead of the Champions Cup quarter-final meeting with Ulster. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

All you need to know ahead of an all-Irish derby in Dublin for a semi-final place

Munster’s Joey Carbery with head coach Johann van Graan during training ahead of their Champions Cup quarter-final meeting with Edinburgh. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

All you need to know ahead of the first quarter-final of Champions Cup weekend

Ole Gunnar Solskjær walks next to the pitch at Old Trafford after being announced as the new manager of Manchester United on Thursday. Photograph: Peter Powell/EPA

The Norwegian is well aware that the real work only starts now after his appointment

Bundee Aki returns for Connacht against Sale. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Connacht travel to play Sale Sharks on Friday as they bid for a place in the last four

Munster’s Tyler Bleyendaal during training ahead of the Champions Cup quarter-final clash against Edinburgh in Murrayfield. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Munster, Leinster and Ulster are all bidding for a place in the semi-finals this weekend

David McGoldrick was named man of the match during Ireland’s win over Georgia. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Patrick Madden runs the rule over McCarthy’s side after their narrow win in Dublin

David McGoldrick challenges Gibraltar’s  Louie Annesley. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

We run the rule over Mick McCarthy’s men as they grind their way to a winning start

Gibraltar train at the Victoria Stadium ahead of their clash with Ireland. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The second coming of Mick McCarthy begins at the 2,300 capacity Victoria Stadium

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones faces the media during Wales training ahead of the Guinness Six Nations match against Ireland in Cardiff, Wales. Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Patrick Madden looks at Warren Gatland’s 15 who are looking to complete a Grand Slam

Tadhg Beirne will make his Six Nations debut against Wales in Cardiff. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Patrick Madden looks at Joe Schmidt’s final Irish Six Nations selection

Joe Schmidt is going into his final Six Nations match as Ireland coach. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Schmidt and Gatland say their Six Nations farewells on the final weekend in Cardiff

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