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Bundee Aki shortlisted for world player of the year

RUGBY

Ireland centre Bundee Aki is among a four man shortlist for the World Player of the Year award.

Antoine Dupont of France, Eben Etzebeth of South Africa and Ardie Savea  are the other players in contention.

Ireland coach Andy Farrell is up for the Coach of the Year gong.


Handre Pollard has got the nod to start for South Africa in Saturday's World Cup final against New Zealand in Paris.

The out-half is preferred to Manie Libbok in the playmaking position.

Pollard's recall means that Faf de Klerk is back in the 15 at scrum half, replacing Cobus Reinach .

The Springboks management have also gone for a 7-1 split in favour of forwards on the bench, with Willie Le Roux the only specialist back among the replacements.

So Libbok and Reinach miss out on the matchday squad altogether.


There are two changes to the Ireland women's team to face Spain in the World 15's match in Dubai on Saturday.

Dorothy Wall comes into the second row and Molly Scuffil-McCabe starts at scrum half.

 


SOCCER


The Republic of Ireland have dropped to 58th in the latest FIFA World Rankings which have been released today.


The Boys in Green were 34th in the World when Stephen Kenny took charge of the team in 2020.
Ireland are now set to be third seeds for the 2026 World Cup draw.

World champions Argentina are the top ranked team, with France second, Brazil third and England fourth.



Liverpool are in Europa League Group E action tonight - they welcome Toulouse to Anfield for an 8pm start.

Cody Gakpo may return after injury.

In another 8 o'clock kick off, Brighton host Ajax in Group B.


An injury to Danny Welbeck means Evan Ferguson could feature for the Seagulls.

West Ham are in Greece to face Olympiakos in Group A at 5.45.

Also at that time, Rangers are away to Sparta Prague.

In the Conference League, Aston Villa have made the trip to Alkmaar to play A-Z, while Aberdeen are at home to PAOK (pr: Pow-k).


HORSE RACING


Clonmel stages seven races over jumps from 2pm this afternoon.

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