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Thursday Lunch Sports Update: IRFU Confirm It Will Offer 43 Pro-Contracts To Elite Women's Players.

Stock Image: Pixabay

It will come into effect next season.

RUGBY

The IRFU has confirmed it will offer 43 professional contracts to elite women's players from next season.

It's the first time that members of the 15s squad will be offered paid contracts.

The IRFU says it will discuss the deals with players before releasing any further details.

Meanwhile, Gillian McDarby has been appointed to the role of Head of Women's Performance and Pathways.

SOCCER

Shkupi say they're determined to 'respond as a team to the evil done' to them, after they were forced to land at Shannon Airport instead of Dublin.

The North Macedonian champions take on Shamrock Rovers in the first leg of their third round Europa League qualifier tonight in Tallaght.

In a statement, the visitors allege the Irish government 'did not listen' to UEFA's request to let the team land in Dublin.

Shkupi have asked the North Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help the team depart from the capital after the game.

Kick off tonight at Tallaght Stadium is at 8pm.

==

The European adventure for St Patrick's Athletic and Sligo Rovers also continues tonight.

St Pat's are in Bulgaria for a meeting with CSKA Sofia in the first leg of their Europa Conference League third round qualifier.

While Sligo Rovers are away to Norway's Viking.

Both games kick off at 6pm.

==

Anthony Martial is set to miss Manchester United's Premier League opener against Brighton on Sunday.

It's understood the French forward has a hamstring injury.

The game will be a first for United in the Premier League under new boss Erik ten Hag.


GAELIC GAMES

Darren Gleeson is set to remain as Antrim's senior hurling manager.

The Tipperary native has been handed a further two years by the Antrim County Board.

Antrim will play in next season's Leinster Championship having won this year's Joe McDonagh Cup.


HORSE RACING

There are 8 races on the flat at Leopardstown from 4.45.

A seven race fixture over jumps at Sligo begins at 5.

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