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Trio recalled with Les Bleus due in Thomond

RUGBY LEAGUE: Paul Handforth, Kyle Amor and James Haley have been recalled to the Irish rugby league team playing France in Thomond Park today -- the first ever rugby league international at the venue.

The trio missed the 30-6 defeat by Wales two weeks ago in Neath.

While most of the squad play their club rugby in the UK, Joe Taylor of North Dublin Eagles and Paddy Barcoe of Carlow RL are also selected for the squad.

In five attempts, Ireland have never beaten France, with the team's best result coming in 1997, when they drew 30-30 with Les Bleus.

Redmond in World reckoning

SWIMMING: After becoming the first swimmer ever to round the Fastnet Rock, Stephen Redmond from Cork has been nominated for the annual World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year award.

Redmond started his 26-mile effort in Baltimore and, after circling Fastnet, returned to Schull.

A few weeks later, he added the Catalina Channel in California to his list of achievements.

Dutch Pang of regret for Evans

BADMINTON: Irish No 1 Scott Evans, who is aiming to qualify for London 2012, lost to Dutch player Eric Pang in the opening round of the Bitburger Open in Germany.

Chloe Magee also went out, losing a tough opener against No 8 seed Eriko Hirose from Japan.

Leap's Egan eighth in Singapore

CANOEING: Salmon Leap's Jenny Egan produced the best Irish result at the World Marathon Championships in Singapore, when she finished a fighting eighth in the women's K1 race.

Over the 25.8km distance with six portages, Egan stayed in touch with the lead group and, with the finish in sight, was in the chase for third with five other boats. In men's K2, Peter Egan and Neil Fleming came a creditable 11th.

Belfield's best head for Belfast

HOCKEY: For a second weekend, the Irish League takes priority today, with the UCD women's team travelling to Belfast to take on Pegasus (6.00), and Hermes entertaining Armagh in Booterstown.

In the men's competition, Glenanne play Cookstown, while Pembroke will aim for maximum points against Annadale.

Solid Conor signs off in Turkey

TRIATHLON: Irish triathlete Conor Murphy completed his debut season as an professional with a solid 16th place at the Alanya ITU European Cup in Turkey.