Mark Sexton’s famous name; Neither Ronaldo nor Maguire fit to lead United

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

Mark Sexton is used to the connotations of his name. The Ireland under-20s skills and assistant attack coach is well versed in explaining who he is once people's ears prick up upon personal introductions. Generally, the conversation goes something along the lines of "this is Mark Sexton, Johnny's brother." As well as being the Ireland captain's younger sibling, this Sexton has forged a successful coaching career of his own both with Connacht and Richie Murphy's under-20s set-up and he's been speaking to John O'Sullivan about his journey. As far as the elder Sexton is concerned, this week's Six Nations opponents have been talking about the need to play 'brave' rugby against Ireland during their upcoming clash at Twickenham.

Manchester United face a difficult post mortem after a harrowing defeat to rivals City on Sunday. Ken Early has taken a deep dive into some of the issues, but for him the buck stops with two players. The fact that Cristiano Ronaldo never would have played - hip injury or not - shows that the games where United have to spend the majority of the time working off the ball against superior opposition are beyond him. As for Harry Maguire, well Early's prognosis does not read well for him either: "The route back to the top is complicated, but on the captaincy question at least, the answer is simple. Next season the captain should be neither Maguire nor Ronaldo, but instead someone whom you can at least imagine being part of a top-level team." Elsewhere, it has emerged over the weekend that the UK and Ireland's bid to host Euro 2028 is set to be unopposed after Turkey and Russia dropped out of the running.

The death of Shane Warne - announced last Friday - continued to reverberate across the sporting world over the weekend. In his column this morning, Malachy Clerkin recalls the time in 2005 when Warne's batting, rather than his bowling, captivated everyone including GAA supporters while he was reporting on a clash between Dublin and Tyrone. Mary Hannigan also discusses the tragic news today, comparing the victim of Warne's 'ball of the century' - Mike Gatting - to Peter Shilton who was in goal for Maradona's 'goal of the century', two men forced to endure fame via millions of views of two of sport's most famous clips.

Rory McIlroy's challenge faded at the Arnold Palmer Invitational over the weekend after back-to-back rounds of 76. The Northern Irishman ultimately finished in a tie for 13th as Scottie Scheffler snuck home with the win. McIlroy cut a frustrated figure after his disappointing finish: "I don't mind golf courses being penal when you miss, but it's not rewarding good shots. I think that's where it starts to get across the line." Elsewhere, Leona Maguire also finished 13th at the Women's World Championship in Singapore, albeit in better circumstances with her final round of 68 being her lowest of the week.