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Joey Carbery makes his moment count; Rory McIlroy back on the first tee

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

One of the most positive aspects of Ireland's 30-24 defeat to France last weekend was the performance of Joey Carbery in the absence of Johnny Sexton. Carbery exuded calm and confidence on his first Six Nations start, both off the tee and with the ball in hand, in a game which reemphasised his standing as the heir to Sexton's throne. Speaking to John O'Sullivan, he said: "But then when I got the scan and the result, it was obviously very disappointing. I was just thankful it wasn't as bad. I knew I had been through worse. There was still a chance I could make the Six Nations, so that was always in the back of my mind. It was something for me to look forward to and work towards."

Rory McIlroy is back in action later today in the first round of the Genesis Open (tee time 7.59pm), with Seamus Power the other Irish player in the field in Los Angeles. And ahead of the tournament, the four-time Major winner has further distanced himself from links to a Saudi Arabia-funded breakaway tour. He said: "I'm so sick of it. You look at the people who have already said no. (Jon) Rahm, number one in the world. Collin Morikawa. Myself. You've got the top players in the world are saying 'no', so that has to tell you something."

In her column this morning Joanne O'Riordan has asked if the attention and scrutiny being place on 15-year-old Russian ice skater Kamila Valieva would be better placed on her coach, Eteri Tutberidze. She writes: "Tutberidze notoriously won't allow her athletes to have water while skating, has her athletes eating very little to stay as light as possible and trains her athletes up to 12 hours a day. Athletes by name, but in reality, these are teenage girls going through bodily changes. Many of her young skaters leave due to back injuries within a year of joining."

Elsewhere last night Liverpool put one foot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League as they beat Internazionale 2-0 away from home. In the night's other game Kingsley Coman scored a last-minute equaliser for Bayern Munich as they drew 1-1 away to Red Bull Salzburg. Tonight Celtic are in action in the Europa Conference League against Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt.


And NUI Galway are Sigerson Cup champions for a 23rd time after they beat University of Limerick 0-12 to 1-6 in last night's final. This was despite the performance of Kerry's David Clifford, who scored 1-2 in a losing effort.

Patrick Madden

Patrick Madden

Patrick Madden is a former sports journalist with The Irish Times