Starting with rugby where, this afternoon, IRFU high performance director David Nucifora will give his traditional end-of-season address to the media. In all of his time in the position there has probably never been a more challenging period for Irish rugby both on and off the pitch with no silverware to show and a severely hit bank account to boot. This morning Gerry Thornley asks if the Australian can get the Irish rugby juggernaut back on track ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup? On the pitch the focus now for Ireland are the summer Tests against Japan and USA. With the tour of Fiji now not going ahead it is expected that Andy Farrell will depart the Ireland camp after the meeting with the USA and join up with the Lions coaching staff. One bright spark over the last year or so for Ireland has been the emergence of Hugo Keenan who continues to go from strength-to-strength and has no plans to let up. Also this morning, John O’Sullivan speaks to former Munster player Seán Scanlon about his journey through the byways of English rugby and the realities of the professional game.
Moving to GAA and this morning Darragh Ó Sé writes in his column that people have become almost de-sensitised to watching high quality Gaelic football because Dublin have raised the bar so much. “When people are giving out about something for so long, they become so used to thinking that it’s no good. They watch games waiting to be disappointed. If you have decided that a sport is going down the wrong path, you’re going to hang tight to that view,” he writes. This year the league campaigns have taken on a different guise once again, acting as almost a pre-season tournament for the championship, but it shouldn’t come as any real surprise because, as Seán Moran writes in his column this morning, the leagues have always been the GAA’s moveable feast.