Man United progress in Europe, Matt Williams on Ireland’s future

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

Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring Manchester United’s third against Partizan Belgrade. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty

Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring Manchester United’s third against Partizan Belgrade. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty

Manchester United are through to the knockout stages of the Europa League after they beat Partizan Belgrade 3-0 at Old Trafford last night. 18-year-old Mason Greenwood opened the scoring, before two fine goals from Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford steered Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side into the last-32. Earlier in the evening Celtic also booked their place in the knockouts thanks to a 2-1 win over Lazio in Rome - Olivier Ntcham’s 95th minute winner giving the Bhoys their first ever win on Italian soil.

Elsewhere in his column this morning Matt Williams has addressed Ireland’s latest Rugby World Cup quarter-final exit, and suggested a massive overhaul is needed if they are to break through their glass ceiling in 2023 and properly challenge for the Webb Ellis Cup. He writes: “An independent committee to review the national team’s processes must be established, with the aim of creating a new national coaching plan. This plan must detail the leadership, structure and the playing style of how rugby needs to be performed across all professional Irish teams for success to be achieved in France and beyond. This review would obviously include Andy Farrell. However, Ireland must look outside the IRFU for independent experiences to offer guidance for the change that is essential within Irish rugby.”

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