Gerry Thornley on World League plans; Johnny Buckley cleared for club final

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Leinster are back in Pro14 action at the RDS tonight. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Leinster are back in Pro14 action at the RDS tonight. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

World Rugby’s plans to revamp the international calendar with the launch of a 12-team World League from 2020 were revealed on Thursday, and this morning Gerry Thornley explains why they’ve more holes in them than a soup strainer. “In seeking to enhance the international game, World Rugby’s ‘League’ might prompt more players to abandon it,” he writes. “World Rugby have, either directly or indirectly, managed to antagonise almost everybody that matters, which merely shows how cack-handed this proposed World Rugby League has thus far been handled.” In his column this morning, Matt Williams argues a lack of leadership is the reason for Ireland’s on-field crisis and slow start to their Six Nations defence. Tonight in Pro14 action, Leinster host the Cheetahs at the RDS - read Johnny Watterson’s preview here.

Last night Dr Crokes’ Johnny Buckley was cleared to play against champions Corofin in the All-Ireland club football final. He was appealing a red card shown to him for striking in the semi-final against Longford champions, Mullinalaghta. Seán Moran writes in this morning’s pages that a number of issues will have to be resolved before the International Rules series is up and running again and time is getting tight if the intention is to stage a series later this year. If this doesn’t happen it would be the first time since the modern internationals began, in 1999, that two years had elapsed without the game being played.

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