Gerry Thornley on rugby’s return; Sam Kerr in town as Ireland look to stop the rot

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

Shane Lowry and his wife Wendy Honner on the plane ready to head for Milwaukee and then the Ryder Cup. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty

Shane Lowry and his wife Wendy Honner on the plane ready to head for Milwaukee and then the Ryder Cup. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty

After a few weeks off in the wake of the Lions tour to South Africa, the rugby season is back in the northern hemisphere - with the four provinces returning to action this weekend.

The Pro14 has been rebranded as the United Rugby Championship, with four South African franchises joining the usual suspects for the upcoming campaign.

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