Clear your schedules, or just fling them out the window.
For many of us, life is returning to normal after a summer that actually featured extended periods of sun. We all got our fair share of Vitamin D (sunshine) over the past few months so there should be no guilt about staying indoors this weekend to get your fill of sport on TV.
Here’s what is in store for the few days ahead.
The Guinness PRO14 returns to your TV screens and Leinster are the team to beat. Handy, then, that the champions get the season underway with an away trip to Cardiff Arms Park.
Leinster’s PRO14 opener against Cardiff Blues kicks off at 7:35pm, and it will be free-to-air on eir Sport and TG4. Eir Sport will also be showing the game live on their social media platforms, as well as their YouTube channel, and there are plenty of reasons to tune in. Joe Tomane is set for his full debut, Luke McGrath and Ross Byrne are in the 9/10 axis and back-row prospect Caelan Doris gets his first start.
We, admittedly, would not pay much attention to the ‘Made in Denmark’ Danish Open golf but as it is the final European qualifying event for The Ryder Cup, we’ll be keeping an eye on events. No Irish interest but several players will be hoping to sow European captain Thomas Bjorn that they are worth a look at. Lee Westwood, Thomas Pieters and Eddie Pepperell all all in the field. Sky Sports Golf will be covering this from 10:30am to 5:30pm with a wee break in between.
The US Open will keep tennis fans ticking over this weekend and Eurosport – from 5pm to 5am(!) – is putting in one hell of a shift.
Ireland’s Women’s team take on Northern Ireland in their final game of a World Cup qualifying campaign that looked so promising, early doors, but can still finish on a winning note for Colin Bell’s side. It is live at Tallaght Stadium from 5:15pm (on RTE 2) with kick-off at 5:30pm.
The free-to-air PRO14 TV bonanza follows on Saturday with Connacht’s season opener against Glasgow Warriors is available on TG4 from 3pm. Munster (vs. Cheetahs) and Ulster (vs. Scarlets) are both kicking off at 5:15pm and are being broadcast on eir Sport 1 and 2.
The Danish Open continues on Sky Sports Golf (11:30am to 4:30pm) while Eurosport is bedding in for another 5pm to 5am US Open shift.
Leicester City host league leaders Liverpool at 12:30pm, with coverage from the King Power Stadium starting on Sky Sports Premier League an hour earlier.
Not exactly live sport here but GAA (or casual chat) fans can get into the mood for Sunday’s All-Ireland final by tuning into ‘Up for the Match’ on RTE 1 from 9:30 to 11:10pm. If Aslan don’t show up and represent The Dubs with ‘Crazy World’, write a letter to your local TD.
Right, let’s get the golf and tennis out of the way first. Danish Open final day (Sky Sports Golf from 11:30am to 4:30pm) may throw up a Ryder Cup surprise or two while the US Open (Eurosport from 5pm to 5am) is getting to the fourth round and quarter final nitty gritty.
The first ‘Old Firm’ game of the Scottish football season is on Sky Sports Football from 11am (midday kick-off) and pitches Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic against Steven Gerrard’s Rangers. There is always interest in this tie but the Liverpool connections of both players adds a frisson of excitement to affairs at Celtic Park.
The feast of Gaelic football starts on TG4 from 12:30pm as the minors of Kerry and Galway contest the All-Ireland final at Croke Park. Throw-in for this one is 1pm and we’re backing Kerry to continue their recent dominance of the competition.
RTE 2 and Sky Sports Arena are both kicking off their All-Ireland football final coverage from 2:30pm with throw-in for Dublin versus Tyrone at 3:30pm. Both managers, Jim Gavin and Mickey Harte, have never lost a final so, as Conor McGregor claimed last year, ‘Somebody’s 0 has got to go!’
The Sunday Game’s highlights package runs on RTE 2 from 9:30 to 11:30pm and it will be interesting to see how a broadcast from the team hotel would play out if Tyrone defeated the reigning champs.
Televised game of the day in the Premier League is Watford host Tottenham at 4pm with Cardiff and Arsenal serving up the appetiser from 1:30pm. Both games are on Sky Sports Premier League, with coverage starring from 12:30pm. BBC’s Match of the Day wraps the weekend’s League action from 10:30 to 11:35pm.
There you have it. Go forth, whack on the TV and enjoy.
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