SOCCER

Republic of Ireland defender Ciaran Clark is backing his defensive partner Shane Duffy to put his club struggles behind him.

The pair look set to start together in Belgrade tomorrow night as Ireland begin their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign away to Serbia.

Duffy has struggled for form since joining Celtic on loan this season, with the club surrendering their Scottish title, and manager Neil Lennon getting sacked.

With Sheffield United’s John Egan injured, Clark and Shane Duffy could be set to marshal the defence.

And Clark says he has every confidence that Duffy will be able to put his experience to good use

The EFL remains hopeful that this season’s League Cup final can be played in front of fans.

Next month’s Wembley clash between Manchester City and Tottenham is not on the Government’s original list of pilot events.

A decision could be made this week with the Football League wanting to host a maximum of 10-thousand supporters.

GAA

GAA clubs in the north of Ireland look set to get a head start on teams in the Republic, when it comes to returning to action.

The GAA’s Covid Advisory Group have cleared the way for adult and underage teams to begin training again from the 12th of April, after the Northern Ireland executive confirmed non contact outdoor training could resume.

However, restrictions in the Republic of Ireland mean it will likely be at least another month before GAA teams in the south can return to action.

RUGBY

Connacht’s PRO14 campaign ended in defeat last night.

Andy Friend’s side were beaten 41-36 away to the Scarlets – with the Welsh side securing Champions Cup rugby in the process.

Connacht had been 21 points clear at half time, thanks to five first half tries.

However, the Irish side were already guaranteed to finish second in Conference B regardless of the result.

The western province will find out today if Bundee Aki will be available to play in their Challenge Cup knockout campaign.

Aki will learn if he is to face a ban today, having been red carded in Ireland’s win against England last Saturday.

A ban would almost certainly rule him out of the Challenge Cup last 16 meeting with Leicester Tigers next week.

SNOOKER

Ronnie O’Sullivan booked his place in the Tour Championship semi-finals last night.

He beat John Higgins by 10-frames to 8.

In tonight’s quarter-final, Neil Robertson faces Jack Lisowski.

RACING

There’s a seven-race card at Clonmel this afternoon.

The first goes to post at 2.30.



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