What does the average country clubber think of Mickelson? Davy Fitz attracts attention

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

Given all the furore surrounding Phil Mickelson's Saudi Arabia saga of late, you wonder what the average American country clubber would make of his decision to commit to the breakaway tour, stick to his guns controversially only then to back down? That's exactly what Dave Hannigan looks at in his column this morning: "Why would anybody think the predominantly male, upper class, white golf demographic was really appalled that Mickelson was willing to get into bed with the Saudis to make some easy money? Most of those weekend warriors would happily allow their own companies to do business with the execrable Riyadh regime if it increased their profits too."

Davy Fitzgerald was supposed to take a back seat and let the manager do his job while also using his profile to bring some extra eyeballs to the Cork camogie team when he joined their staff as coach. That's not quite what happened on the weekend when his sideline spat took away somewhat from the on-pitch action. The idea of bringing over a noteworthy coach from the men's game to the women's begs the question: do we have to tailor our approaches to different audiences depending on who is listening? Joanne O'Riordan takes a look at the answer. In this morning's other GAA column, Ciarán Murphy looks at the impending merger of the GAA, GPA and Camogie Association in the context of the club game.

Johnny Sexton looks fit and ready to go for the Italy game this weekend after being put up for press duties yesterday. The Ireland captain did have plenty of positive things to say about his understudy Joey Carbery's performance against France in his stead. It has also emerged that Iain Henderson will be unavailable this weekend after testing positive for Covid. It's been nearly a year since Craig Casey made his Ireland debut. His task now is to appreciate the nuances of the international game without taking away from the pace at which he plays, the feature of his game that got him capped in the first place. He's been talking about getting rid of the frantic while trying to maintain the fizz.

Last night's football action saw a ruthless Liverpool put six past a hapless Leeds to - temporarily at least - close the gap to City at the top to just three points. You can't help but feel the title race is seriously heating up now given it wasn't long ago people were ready to crown City champions already. Elsewhere Anthony Elanga's late strike secured a draw for Manchester United away to Atletico while Ben Mee earned Burnley a win that brings Spurs back down to Earth after their City exploits on the weekend.