Denmark and Wales could be without stars; Kerry announce new manager

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

Sean Maguire is set to be available for Ireland against Denmark and Wales. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Sean Maguire is set to be available for Ireland against Denmark and Wales. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Some good news at last on the injury front for the Republic of Ireland - Sean Maguire is available for the Nations League games against Denmark (Saturday) and Wales (Tuesday), giving Martin O’Neill a well needed boost to his attacking options. Denmark’s talisman Christian Eriksen has been all but ruled out of the weekend’s game in Dublin, while Wales’ Gareth Bale is again a doubt after he suffered what is believed to be a recurrence of a groin strain playing for Real Madrid on Saturday. Maguire’s former club, Cork City, last night kept their three-in-a-row FAI Cup hopes alive with a 2-1 semi-final replay win over Bohemians.

Ahead of this weekend’s Champions Cup first round matches, Gerry Thornley writes about the special edge which exists in anglo-Irish battles; “the Irish have been pitted against a strong Anglo hand in that the three provinces will face four of the Premiership’s top five.” Leinster host Wasps on Friday, Exeter desperately need a win against Munster on Saturday, while Leicester Tigers travel to Belfast to take on Ulster. Munster are set to face English opposition again a week later. Meanwhile Connacht announced yesterday plans for a €30 million redevelopment of the Sportsground into a modern 12,000 capacity stadium, which will also include a new high-performance centre and a new greyhound racing track.

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