Rashford an injury doubt for Liverpool clash; Johnny Sexton named as Ireland captain
The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team
Marcus Rashford walks off injured during last night’s FA Cup third round replay at Old Trafford. Photograph: EPA
Juan Mata’s second-half strike saw Manchester United advance to the FA Cup fourth round but their 1-0 victory over Wolves was soured by an injury scare to Marcus Rashford at Old Trafford. Four days before a visit to Premier League leaders and European champions Liverpool, Rashford hobbled off barely 15 minutes after coming off the bench. In domestic news, the Government is prepared to pay up to €5 million per year as part of an emerging deal (being discussed by Government, FAI lenders and Uefa) to safeguard the future of Irish football and the Football Association of Ireland.
As expected, Johnny Sexton has been appointed captain of Ireland for the upcoming Six Nations with the 35-man squad named yesterday including five uncapped players – Ronán Kelleher, Max Deegan, Caelan Doris, Billy Burns and Ulster prop Tom O’Toole – in an otherwise established group of internationals. Gerry Thornley believes Andy Farrell’s first squad hints at a more fluid selection policy. John O’Sullivan explains in his column why Connacht’s Gavin Thornbury has attributes to join the Ireland ranks - his tackle count against Toulouse was the highest of any player across the 10 matches in the tournament last weekend.