Brady ready for All Whites; Natural changing of the guard imminent in Irish rugby
The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team
A group of schoolchildren meet the Irish senior football team at their Abbotstown base ahead of Thursday night’s friendly match against New Zealand and next week’s Euro 2020 qualifier versus Denmark. Photograph: Sportsfile
Robbie Brady believes Ireland’s game against New Zealand tomorrow night might be the start of something big for young Tottenham striker Troy Parrott. Brady is rather hoping to contribute himself and has his own eye on Monday’s qualifier game against Denmark with the New Zealand outing primarily a vehicle to get game time and reassure the manager that he is back to his best. The New Zealand team are known as the All Whites. Often overlooked in a nation obsessed by rugby union is that fact that New Zealand has a proud footballing history, and have twice qualified for the World Cup. The Irish women’s team conceded a late equaliser in their Euro qualifier against Greece yesterday - “this means we’ll have to go through on a playoff,” admitted their manager Vera Pauw afterwards. Amber Barrett’s beautiful 13th-minute opener was cancelled by a last-gasp volley from Anastasia Spiridonidou, read the match report here.
In his column this morning, Gordon D’Arcy explains how a natural changing of the guard is imminent in Irish rugby: “No transitional period is ever easy. It takes courage. I remember how it felt in 2015. You rage against the dying of the light just as your body rages against you. It is a fight on two fronts, with the man who is taking your jersey and with constant niggles slowing ageing limbs.” Peter O’Mahony, refreshed after two weeks back in Cork with his family is popping to be back among his Munster players and eyeing a first European match of the season this weekend.