Full-back Felix Jones will captain Dan McFarland’s strong Ireland Wolfhounds team against England Saxons at Irish Independent Park in Cork on Friday night.Sean O’Brien will make his return from a long term shoulder injury having last played in September’s Guinness Pro12 clash against Glasgow Warriors.He’ll be joined in the back-row alongside Jack Conan and Dominc Ryan. Iain Henderson continues his return from injury, locking down in the second row alongside Mike McCarthy, while the front row consists of Mike Ross, Richardt Strauss and Jack McGrath.Kieran Marmion will combine with Ian Madigan at half-back with Gordon D’Arcy and Keith Earls forming the centre partnership. Captain Felix Jones is joined in the back-three by Fergus McFadden and Luke Fitzgerald.Kick-off is at 7.45pm tomorrow night.
There was plenty to rehash Sunday afternoon in The Ravine, following a three-hour, 35-minute exercise that ended with what the Dodgers considered a beautiful rerun. Matt Kemp, who smacked a three-run home run off Arizona’s Archie Bradley in the eighth inning Saturday night for a 3-2 victory, came up against Bradley in the ninth Sunday afternoon and ripped a first-pitch fastball off the wall in center to chase home the tying and winning runs for, yes, another 3-2 victory, L.A.’s third straight come-from-behind win this weekend.Related Articles There was plenty to chew on Sunday, far more strategic byplay than 25-30 column inches can cover. In the ninth inning alone, Roberts was second-guessed for leaving Caleb Ferguson in to start the ninth. He said his desire was that Ferguson could steal an out before he had to bring in Kenley Jansen, who had pitched the previous two nights. Ferguson instead gave up a go-ahead home run to Daniel Descalso and Jansen had to get three outs anyway just to keep it close.Lovullo, the 2017 NL Manager of the Year, was roasted for leaving starter Zack Greinke in long enough Friday night to give up a game-winning homer to Justin Turner. And he was second-guessed Sunday for bringing Bradley back to face Kemp fewer than 24 hours after that matchup had gone sour. In fact, as Kemp was striding to the plate the video board was replaying the previous night’s home run. And yes, he noticed.“I wasn’t thinking about hitting a home run,” he said. “I was just trying to get that one run in from third base. It just so happened I got two.”Kemp’s first half made him an All-Star. His August (.214 batting average, one homer, five RBI and a .577 OPS) was dreary.So far, Kemp has matched his August RBI output in two September games, and he has a 1.333 OPS for the month after entering Sunday’s game in the seventh as a pinch hitter and going 1 for 2. He keeps up that pace, and the chances are good he’ll have meaningful games in October, too.“You look at his career and the big moments and big hits he’s come up with throughout his career — many against me from the other side — (and) you bet on that, you bet on the preparedness,” Roberts said. “When you get into September and through October, you’ve got to feel comfortable with the heartbeat. Matt’s been there, done that … a guy like him who’s proven (he can) do that and come up in spots like that, I’ll take my chances.”Kemp has been away from September baseball in Los Angeles since 2014. One change from then to now is hard to miss.“I think it gets louder and louder every year,” he said. “I think the fans get more excited every year, because it gets better and better.”Some of that is a conscious effort by the game ops crew to pump up the energy level. But some of it is also the urgency of a fan base that has gotten closer and closer and is anxious for that ultimate payoff.“Tommy (Lasorda) said to me today that that’s the loudest he’s heard Dodger Stadium,” Roberts said of Saturday night’s game.Lasorda might even have amended that after Sunday’s game. Then again, it would have been hard to hear him in the din. Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies It was wild, unwieldy, lengthy. It almost certainly irritated those who have decided September call-ups and expanded rosters are somehow a stain on the national pastime. Arizona manager Torey Lovullo used eight pitchers Sunday, while the Dodgers’ Dave Roberts sent out five pinch-hitters (two of them decoys) and a pinch-runner. For a change, he still had a handful of position players available when the game ended thanks to all of those extra bodies.To those who object? Go watch football. All of those available players, and all of the moves and counter-moves are part of the fun of games that matter down the stretch.“September is one of the funnest months,” Kemp said. “We’re going to treat every game this month like it’s a playoff game, like it’s a must-win, because those guys over there (the Diamondbacks) aren’t going to slow up, and Colorado’s a good team.”I mean, are we really still carping about pace of play when we are hanging on every pitch? How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season LOS ANGELES—Ten days ago, the Dodgers were 4-1/2 games behind in the National League West, their bullpen was a mess, their clutch hitting was pretty much nonexistent, and their streak of consecutive postseason appearances seemed on life support.Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.Today, they’re in first place by themselves. They’ve won eight of nine, the schedule is in their favor, and three straight come-from-behind victories over the Arizona Diamondbacks have the faithful convinced the magic is just starting.Careful, now. Remember what we said last week about a roller coaster as metaphor for a baseball season. There are almost certainly a few more dips to come over the final 26 games.But that’s the fun, isn’t it? That’s what keeps us all coming back, day after day, to the best serial drama around, especially when your team has something at stake. You can’t second-guess soap operas, after all. Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start
1 Dele Alli won a second successive Young Player of the Year award and scored 18 Premier League goals Former Liverpool captain Graeme Souness believes Dele Alli has all the hallmarks to become an influential midfielder on the international stage.In an interview with the Sunday Times, Souness likened the effect Alli has on his team to that of his former midfield partner, Terry McDermott and said the recently crowned Young Player of the Year is someone you wouldn’t want to play against.“Terry Mac took not only his marker back towards the opposition goal but the covering player, too, so that he kept emptying the midfield and creating space for me to operate,” he said.McDermott played 329 times for Liverpool, winning five league titles and three European Cups, in addition to scoring 81 goals.This season Alli scored 18 Premier League goals and created seven and is already an England international with 17 caps to his name. He is likely to play against Scotland, whom Souness was hugely influential for in his 54 appearances, when the teams meet in a World Cup qualifier at Hampden on 10 June and he thinks the Spurs man can be similarly effective for England.“It’s not just the talent Alli has as a 21-year-old but his constantly positive application of it that justifies the belief he can be an influential international player,” he added.