Jackie Tyrrell on Tipperary; Gatland set for Chiefs
orning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team
Racegoers in the sunshine on the first day of the Irish Derby Festival at The Curragh yesterday. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Starting with hurling and Jackie Tyrrell writes in his column this morning that Tipperary are looking the real deal once again and a major threat to win another All-Ireland. Tipp meet Limerick in the Munster final on Sunday afternoon and Tyrrell says that they look to be in a good place mentally for the constant battle of the mind that is inter-county hurling. “It’s a round-the-clock mindset. You’re always asking yourself questions. What am I eating? When am I drinking? What have I to do today? How will this impact on my training and match preparation? When do I rest? Where do I rest? For how long? Nutrition. Down-time. Up-time. When to be ready for training. Everything questioned, everything answered,” he writes. Indeed if Tipp do beat Limerick on Sunday they will go into the All-Ireland quarter-finals, the venue for which is in doubt due to Páirc uí Chaoimh being unavailable. That has led the GAA to consider a double bill at Croke Park with an announcement expected over the next few weeks when the quarter-final match-ups become clear. Meanwhile the GAA has also said that this weekend’s clash between between the Irish Derby at the Curragh and Kildare’s meeting with Tyrone in Newbridge was unavoidable. Speaking of football, there will be echoes of the past in Castlebar this weekend as Armagh travel to face Mayo in round three of the qualifiers. It was back in 2001 – coincidentally the last time Mayo won the league – that Armagh lost a thriller to western foes Galway.
In rugby, Warren Gatland is headed back to his home country of New Zealand after he departs Wales to take on the job of Chiefs manager but the 55-year-old will take a year out to fulfill his role as Lions manager. Gatland 11-year tenure with Wales will come to an end after this year’s Rugby World Cup and he will then move to a new four-year deal with the Chiefs which will see him get familiar with southern hemisphere opposition before the Lions travel to South Africa in 2021. Meanwhile, Israel Folau’s case against Rugby Australia looks set for court after the sacked player and the association failed to reach an agreement at the conciliation hearing which took place overnight.