RUGBY

Head coach Joe Schmidt admits Saturday’s penultimate warm-up game with Wales is one of Ireland’s most important in a long time.

He’s made 11-changes to the side that was beaten 57-15 by England at Twickenham last week.

Jack Carty gets a first Test start at out-half, while Will Addison receives an outing at full-back.

In the forwards, Jack Conan, James Ryan and Dave Kilcoyne all make their first appearances of pre-season.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has handed debuts to Saracens prop Rhys Carre and Cardiff winger Owen Lane for Saturday’s game.

But Schmidt had this frank assessment of last week’s performance.

SOCCER

Shamrock Rovers midfielder Jack Byrne has been included in the final Republic of Ireland squad for next month’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Switzerland.

Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers also makes the cut, but Robbie Brady, Harry Arter and Shane Long miss out.

Ireland play the Swiss at the Aviva on September 5th, before a friendly with Bulgaria five days later.

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Liverpool are about to learn how the defence of their Champions League title will begin.

The draw for this season’s group stage is just about to get underway in Monaco.

The holders are top seeds along with Manchester City and Chelsea, while last year’s finalists Tottenham are among the second seeds.

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Celtic will look to seal a place in the group phase of the Europa League this evening.

Neil Lennon’s side take with them a 2-nil lead to Stockholm for the second leg of their playoff round tie with A-I-K.

Kick off in Sweden is at 6.

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Wolves resume their tie with Torino at Molineux (PR: Mol-in-new) with a 3-2 first leg advantage.

While Rangers and Legia Warsaw are scoreless heading into their second leg at Ibrox.

Steven Gerrard’s side look like they could be in yet more trouble with UEFA over sectarian singing.

They’ll find out tomorrow if they’ll be punished for the behaviour of their fans during the away of that tie in Poland.

Three-thousand seats will be empty tonight at Ibrox following a seperate charge of racist behaviour in Rangers’ game with St. Joseph’s in July.

GOLF

Rory McIlroy’s in the clubhouse on 3-under par following an opening round of 67 at the Omega European Masters.

Padraig Harrington is 1-under playing the last.

While Paul Dunne and Gavin Moynihan are both in the clubhouse on 3-over.

Matthias Schwab and Mike Lorenzo-Vera head the field on 7-under par.

CYCLING

Nicolas Roche has been forced to abandon the Vuelta Espana a day after surrendering the leader’s red jersey.

The Irish rider crashed on today’s sixth stage, and despite attempting to restart Roche has been forced out of the race.

Spain’s own Jesus Harrada won today’s stage, while Dylan Teuns has claimed the lead on general classification.



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