Leinster close Stan Wright investigation; what’s changed now Tyrone are scoring?
Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the first goal in their Uefa Nations League semi-final win over Switzerland at the Dragao stadium in Porto. Photo: Jean-christophe Bott/EPA
It’s been quite the busy week for Leinster Rugby with two separate investigations going on into incidents during their Pro14-winning celebrations. Yesterday Leinster confirmed to The Irish Times that they have closed the investigation into former player Stan Wright who knocked academy player Jack Dunne unconscious at a private function in the Intercontinental Hotel on Sunday May 26th. The Trinity College student – he is studying theoretical physics – was treated by team doctor John Ryan, a consultant at St Vincent’s hospital, where Dunne was subsequently taken. Later that same day a Leinster player allegedly urinated on the leg of a man in Cassidy’s Pub and a spokesperson told The Irish Times yesterday that this investigation is still ongoing. Moving on to matters on the pitch and Rory Best has made the case for increasing World Cup squad sizes with injuries bound to cause a headache for managers in Japan later this year. “I’d be more inclined to increase the squad size to 35 players. The problem 31 is by the time you name three hookers and three nines there are positions you are really short on,” he said. Finally, it was confirmed this morning that Israel Folau is to take legal action against Rugby Australia over his sacking on religious grounds. “A nation made up of so many different faiths and cultural backgrounds will never be truly rich unless this freedom applies to all of us,” the Wallabies star said.
On to soccer and Ireland’s clash with Denmark in the Euro 2020 qualifiers tomorrow is a chance for Mick McCarthy’s team to get some revenge over their Scandanavian opponents with the 5-1 hammering in the World Cup playoffs in November 2017 still fresh memories for many. Shane Duffy scored Ireland’s only goal that night in Dublin and he believes that Denmark will see a very different Ireland side in Copenhagen tomorrow. “They’ll be aware too that we’re off two wins in a row. And you know if you get an Irish team strong together they’ll be hard to beat,” the defender says. In the Nations League semi-finals last night Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick was enough to see Portugal past Switzerland and into the final. However, there was trouble in Porto where England fans are gathering for their semi-final against Netherlands tonight with police forced to baton-charge after supporters began throwing bottles and smashing windows. In France tomorrow the Women’s World Cup starts and we have plenty of coverage in our women in sport pages this morning. Mary Hannigan takes a look at the rise of the tournament from players playing for peanuts to almost a billion people watching on television. Indeed the competition was once sponsored by M&S and it has been some rise ever since. Meanwhile, Clíona Foley speaks to Irish assistant referee Michelle O’Neill who will be on duty in France while we also have a comprehensive team-by-team guide. On the domestic front the latest in the eagerly awaited FAI statement series was to say that the organisation’s servers had been hacked over the weekend.