Expect a shake-up in the Ireland frontrow; Sonia O’Sullivan on the difference between running fast and racing

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

Ferland Mendy scored the winner for Real Madrid against Atalanta last night. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP via Getty Images

Ferland Mendy scored the winner for Real Madrid against Atalanta last night. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP via Getty Images

This Saturday in Rome is very much a should-win and must-win match for Ireland as they face Italy off the back of two losses in their opening two Six Nations matches. Later this morning Andy Farrell will name his team for the 2.15pm kick-off at the Stadio Olimpico and Gerry Thornley predicts a shake-up with a new frontrow expected. “David Kilcoyne, who also missed that match (France), is set to start at loosehead, with Rónan Kelleher in line to be promoted after his try-scoring cameo against Les Bleus, as is Tadhg Furlong,” he writes. One of Ireland’s main issues so far has been an inability to get over the line for tries. This morning John O’Sullivan analyses the issues in his stats column and concludes that it is not for a lack of creativity that the scores aren’t coming. And while the debate about who Ireland’s next outhalf will be after Johnny Sexton continues, there will be welcome sigh of relief later today when Joey Carbery is expected to be named on the Munster bench for their meeting with Cardiff on Friday, paving the way for his return to rugby.

Moving on to golf and Tiger Woods is continuing to recover from a near-fatal car crash on Tuesday which left him with a fractured right left and a shattered ankle. Local officials said yesterday that the golfer will not face any charges for what is deemed an accident while Dr Riley Williams, sports medicine surgeon at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery, has said the 15-time Major winner could make a return to the golf course at some stage in the future. Whether or not he does tee it up again is immaterial at the moment according to Rory McIlroy who said in his pre-tournament press conference ahead of the WGC-Workday Championship that we should all just be thankful now that Woods is alive. Elsewhere in our golf pages this morning Dave Hannigan is writing about former mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani and his latest gaffe which saw him tell a bizarre story about Michelle Wie on a podcast last weekend.

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