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Covid strikes Ireland’s tour of New Zealand; Reaction to ugly All-Ireland brawl

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

Covid has struck Ireland’s tour of New Zealand. In a worrying development, both camps have been affected as Mack Hansen on the Irish side has tested positive. In the All Blacks squad, the midfield duo of David Havili and Jack Goodhue have also tested positive as have head coach Ian Foster and assistant coaches John Plumtree and Scott McLeod. The result of this news? In a surprising development, Joe Schmidt has been drafted into the coaching set-up to help the All Blacks prepare to face the nation he once coached. In other news from the tour, former Munster man Rua Tipoki visited the Irish squad to give them an insight to the importance of the Maori All Blacks - who have named both Brad Weber and TJ Perenara in their squad to play Ireland on Wednesday - while Gerry Thornley has profiled Jimmy O’Brien ahead of a potential first game in green for the former underage GAA star.

“Penalties are for soccer, not GAA.” That was the view of Galway manager Pádraic Joyce after a dramatic shootout and an ugly brawl dominated the conversation after the Connacht champions’ thrilling win over Armagh in the All-Ireland football quarter-final at Croke Park. Joyce didn’t see the alleged gouge of Damien Comer, but insists that action has to be taken if the TV footage is conclusive - which it appears to be. In Sunday’s other quarter-final, Jack O’Connor blamed rust for Kerry’s performance in their victory over Mayo as they were simply happy to get out of HQ with the win. That sees them take on Dublin in the semi-final but Dessie Farrell’s side has injury concerns with Con O’Callaghan and James McCarthy in a race against time to be fit with supposed hamstring injuries.

Monday evening sees Vera Pauw’s Ireland return to competitive action with a World Cup qualifier away to Georgia. The squad has undertaken a pretty brutal journey into a playing climate featuring some oppressive heat, but their boss refuses to focus on those negatives ahead of the clash. The last time these two played, Ireland thumped Georgia 11-0 in Tallaght before Christmas last year. Gavin Cummiskey previews the match-up here. In Premier League news, Arsenal are on the verge of signing striker Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City on a five-year deal.

Harry Tector is in scintillating form with the bat for Ireland. His average in T20I cricket stands at 86 in his last four matches, but his stunning knock against India could not prevent Ireland suffering a seven-wicket thumping at the hands of India at Malahide last night. In tennis, Wimbledon gets underway today as Johnny Watterson looks ahead to a bumper first day of action with Andy Murray, Emma Raducanu and Novak Djokovic all in action. Stephanie Meadow impressed in Maryland as she earned a top-10 finish at the women’s PGA Championship.