Hotchpotch Rainbow Cup needs clarity; Burnley relegate Fulham

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

Fulham manager Scott Parker leaves the pitch after his side’s 2-0 defeat to Burnley. Photo: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Fulham manager Scott Parker leaves the pitch after his side’s 2-0 defeat to Burnley. Photo: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

We begin with rugby this morning and Tadhg Furlong’s new one-year deal with the IRFU. The Union would undoubtedly have been keen to secure the services of the tighhead until the 2023 Rugby World Cup but, as Gerry Thornley reports this morning, “that Furlong, after nigh on five months of negotiations, ultimately decided on a one-year extension long after the other new central contracts were completed suggests the discussions were not the smoothest,” while Leinster coach Felipe Contepomi yesterday said a one-year extension was at least “better than none”. Moving on and Gerry Thornley writes in his column this morning that, even two rounds into the hotchpotch Rainbow Cup, it seems that no one quite knows what form it will take but it may well prove to be a pot of gold for Munster. Meanwhile, Bill Corcoran reports from Cape Town that the South African government is under pressure to allow fans attend the Lions series despite a worsening Covid-19 situation.

On to soccer and a new documentary on the playing and managerial career of Alex Ferguson – as well as his recovery from a life-threatening stroke – is set to be released soon. Speaking to Donald McRae, the former Manchester United manager went into detail on the loneliness and fear he experienced after undergoing surgery. Last night Fulham were condemned to relegation just one season after promotion as Ashley Westwood and Chris Wood struck for Burnley to secure their top-flight status.

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