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Lowry aims to pull in crowds

GOLF: Carton House resident Shane Lowry knows how critical the performance of the home golfers will be in drawing a bumper crowd to this week's Irish Open on the Montgomerie Course.

"I think it's important one of us is contending at the weekend, to be honest," said the Clara native. "If several Irish players put themselves in with a chance on Saturday and Sunday, the crowds will come out in droves. That's vital this week."



CYCLING: Mark Cavendish hopes to swap the British champion's jersey for the Tour de France leader's yellow jersey on Saturday in Corsica when the 100th edition of cycling's most fabled race begins.

On Sunday, the 28-year-old won his first senior British title in Glasgow, earning the right to wear the white jersey with red and blue bands for the next year, but hopes to spend just Saturday's opening 213km stage from Porto Vecchio to Bastia in those colours.

A 24th Tour stage win of his career would take Cavendish into the maillot jaune of the overall leader for Sunday's second stage.

"It's a big, big goal and a huge motivation for a team built around stage wins," said Cavendish.



cRICKET: Ireland will be at full strength for next month's World Cup qualifiers in the Netherlands, with all seven county professionals included in a 14-man squad named by coach Phil Simmons. Victory in one of the two games in Amsterdam should be enough to secure a place at the 2015 World Cup finals, to be held in Australia and New Zealand.

IRELAND (World Cup qualifiers): W Porterfield (cpt) (Warwickshire), A Cusack (Clontarf), G Dockrell (Somerset), T Johnston (YMCA), E Joyce (Sussex), J Mooney (North County), T Murtagh (Middlesex), K O'Brien (Railway Union), N O'Brien (Leicestershire), J Shannon (Instonians), M Sorensen (The Hills), P Stirling (Middlesex), A White (Instonians), G Wilson (Surrey).



CRICKET: New Australia coach Darren Lehmann would welcome Shane Warne into the Australia set-up.

Lehmann, who was yesterday unveiled as the successor to the sacked Micky Arthur, will take up the reins immediately and lead his side into an Ashes series against England.

"We would love him (Warne) in the room. The past legends is what we are about," said Lehmann.



BOXING: Katie Taylor is heading to Keszthely, Hungary, on Friday, as the Bray woman aims for her fifth successive title at the EU Senior, Youth and Junior Championships.

The IABA have named a 26-strong squad for the tournament, which starts on Monday.



GOLF: US Open champion Justin Rose has withdrawn from this week's AT&T National, citing fatigue following his victory at Merion earlier this month.