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In Brief: Kidney checks out his options

RUGBY: The Ireland 'A' team to face Georgia in the Churchill Cup sees seven players taking part in their first Irish game this summer.

Ireland coach Declan Kidney has made a total of nine changes to the team that beat Canada last Wednesday.

Niall Ronan comes into the back row in place of the injured Sean O'Brien. Donnacha Ryan is joined in the second row by Trevor Hogan, while Cian Healy comes in at prop, replacing Bryan Young, and Denis Fogarty starts at hooker. John Muldoon, the Churchill Cup tour captain, takes the No 8 spot.

Niall O'Connor starts at out-half and Isaac Boss makes way for Frank Murphy at scrum-half. Felix Jones will make his debut at full-back.

Ireland 'A' -- F Jones (Leinster); S Keogh (Leinster), F McFadden (Leinster), J Downey (Northampton), J Murphy (Leicester); N O'Connor (Ulster), F Murphy (Connacht); C Healy (Leinster), D Fogarty (Munster), T Buckley (Munster), T Hogan (Leinster), D Ryan (Munster), N Best (Northampton), N Ronan (Munster), J Muldoon (Connacht). Reps: S Cronin (Connacht), B Young (Ulster), D Toner (Leinster), C Henry (Ulster), I Boss (Ulster), J Sexton (Leinster), K Matthews (Connacht).

Ireland 'A' v Georgia

Sky Sports 2, 10.30pm

Barnes forced out of EU team

BOXING: Irish light-flyweight Paddy Barnes has been withdrawn from the Irish team for the 2009 European Union Championships after suffering a relapse of a bronchial infection.

Barnes, a bronze medal winner at the Beijing Olympics, had been due to compete as part of a 10-man Irish squad at the championships which gloves off in Odense, Denmark, tonight.

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"Paddy missed out on a number of tournaments recently because of the infection. We thought it had cleared up at this stage. But unfortunately he has suffered a relapse," said Irish head coach Billy Walsh.

McKinley wins first Ras stage

CYCLING: Mark McKinley, of the Ireland U-23 squad, won the first stage of Ras Connachta yesterday in Westport.

He beat his long-time breakaway companion Dane Dunlop, also of the Irish team. The pair have an advantage of 24 seconds on a group of eight.

Also on the start line was David O'Loughlin, listed 12th in the standings of the three-stage event.

Heavey heads home triumphs

Tennis: Four Irish players progressed to the second round of the qualifiers in the ITF Futures Babolat City of Dublin Championships, at the Brookfield Club, in Dartry, Dublin yesterday.

Davis Cup player Eoin Heavey won by a scoreline of 6-4 6-3 scoreline against the USA's Henri Landes.

The other Irish winners were Cork's Michael Hayes, Carlow's Tommy Murphy and Leixlip's Fiachra Lennon.

Proteas edge closer to semis

Cricket: South Africa took a big step towards securing their place in the World Twenty20 semi-finals with victory over West Indies.

Herschelle Gibbs hit 55 as the Proteas posted 183 for seven from their 20 overs.

In reply, West Indies lost big-hitter Gayle and Dwayne Bravo cheaply, but Lendl Simmons led the chase.

However, when Simmons departed for 77, so did the Windies' chances as South Africa triumphed by 20 runs.

Impressive Gul kills off Kiwis

Pace bowler Umar Gul captured a record five wickets yesterday to propel Pakistan to an impressive six-wicket victory over New Zealand in their World Cup second-round match at the Oval.

Gul's five for six from three overs, the first five-wicket haul in a Twenty20 international, destroyed the New Zealand middle order as the Kiwis collapsed to 99 all out in 18.3 overs.

It was the lowest score of the tournament from a test playing nation after South Africa bowled England out for 111 on Thursday.

Hogan secures spot in Top 96

SNOOKER: Nenagh's David Hogan has earned his place among the Top 96 players on the main pro tour next season.

Hogan, from the the New Institute club, claimed victory over fellow Irish player Mario Fernandez at the 2009 European Snooker Championships in Antwerp yesterday.

The final pairing was unique in that it was the first time two Irish players had met in the final, with Hogan emerging on top 7-4.

Marshall holds narrow lead

GOLF: England's Andrew Marshall will take a slender lead into the final day of the Challenge of Ireland presented by Moyvalley, but he will have Ulster's Jonathan Caldwell breathing down his neck.

Both men are chasing their maiden Challenge Tour titles at Moyvalley Hotel and Golf Resort in County Kildare -- just one shot separates them.

Marshall's best-of-the-day 67 moved him to eight-under par, one clear of Caldwell, France's Francois Calmels and Norwegian Peter Kaensche, who lie in a tie for second.

Trinity lose to expert Queen's

Rowing: Queen's University Belfast finally got revenge on Trinity when they lifted the Senior Men's, Senior Women's and Novice Men's races at the sixth university boat race.

Queen's senior men won by a distance with the winds playing havoc for Trinity as they approached Governors Bridge. The Trinity bow clipped the bridge and Queen's increased their lead substantially.


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