A mouthwatering hurling league collision, an exuberant German coach that’s not Jurgen Klopp and one man’s incredible voyage to redemption – it’s your guide to the best of the weekend’s TV fare and a comprehensive listing of what’s on offer.
CAPITAL PUNSHMENT UNDER THE LIGHTS?
On we roll in the Allianz Hurling League and in Division 1A, it’s not looking good for the Dubs.
Ger Cunningham has a young, game side at his disposal but they were trampled by Tipp and will head to Cork more in hope than expectation.
The Rebels were impressive in their defeat of Clare last week and will fancy themselves again under the Páirc Uí Ruinn lights.
Meanwhile in 1B Laois host Offaly in what’s a serious exercise in pride restoration for the visitors.
The Faithful shipped 6-23 last time out against Galway, while their hosts on Saturday night will look to get off the mark after their four-point loss to Kerry.
To whet the appetite for the night-time hurling fare you can bathe your feet in a bit of Sigerson Cup action.
Holders UCD held off UL to book their place in the decider, where they'll face a St Mary's side who squeezed past UCC by a point.
And on Sunday Waterford welcome the Premier County to Walsh Park for what John Mullane predicts will be a “ding-dong battle” between the “two best teams in the country”.
League Sunday wraps up the action for us nicely, so you can stick the kettle on and root out the biscuit tin to look back on a busy weekend.
Where to watch it: Sigerson Cup final, TG4, 3pm Laois v Offaly, Saturday, eir Sport 1, 7pm
Cork v Dublin, Saturday, eir Sport 2, 7pm
Waterford v Tipperary, Sunday,TG4, 2pm, followed by deferred coverage of Clare v Kilkenny
League Sunday, RTE 2, 9.30pm
IN TROUBLED WATERS, IT KEEPS US AFLOAT...
When Gavan Hennigan rowed into Antigua's English Harbour at the start of the month, the 3,000 miles he’d travelled across the Atlantic to become the fastest solo
competitor in the history of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge didn’t seem like such a big deal.
That was the easy bit. Having spent a decade working as a saturation diver on oil rigs, overcoming heroin addiction and struggling to come to terms with his sexuality, it was all about perspective for the 35-year-old.
“For the past 49 days I’ve had one single goal,” he said. “To live life.”
He’s on the The Late Late Show couch tonight to give an insight into life on the high seas and his own incredible personal journey.
In Hennigan’s word, this rowing lark is “is just for fun”. But his remarkable fortitude and spirit marks him out as a competitor of rare steel, and his voyage is a true tale of sporting redemption.
Where to watch it: The Late Late Show, RTE 1, 9.35pm
It’s all eyes on Berkshire as the big guns limber up for the Cheltenham Festival with one more outing.
Cue Card will look to repeat his 2013 victory in the feature ahead of a crack at the Gold Cup next month.
Colin Tizzard’s 11-year-old tumbled three from home at Prestbury Park’s blue riband race 12 months ago when very much in contention and he’ll be desperate to atone for that heartache.
Officials revealed on Wednesday that Gold Cup day is already a sell-out, and there really is nothing quite like the spectacle of the Festival’s climax.
There’s not much time left for homework, so punters will savour a good card at Ascot, with action from Haydock and Wincanton also thrown into the mix.
Where to watch it: Ascot, Saturday, ITV4 & 3e, 1.30pm
WAGNER CAN ORCHESTRATE CITY’S DOWNFALL
Manchester City’s trip to Huddersfield on a Saturday afternoon in the fifth round of the FA Cup has an old-school look about it, but don’t expect an elbow-flying, hard-tackling slog in ankle-deep mud.
German David Wagner is good friends with Jurgen Klopp and he channels his touchline exuberance as well as his attractive, high-energy footballing style.
The Championship club fancy an upset here, and with a Champions League last-16 showdown with Monaco on the horizon, Pep Guardiola’s men may not be fizzing with enthusiasm for this trip to the John Smith’s Stadium.
Huddersfield are third in their division and we could well see this fixture again next season in the Premier League. They’re great to watch and have it in them to etch another wrinkle into Pep’s much-rubbed forehead.
Where to watch it: Huddersfield Town v Manchester City, Saturday, eir Sport 1, 3pm
PRO12 FILLS THE VOID
The RBS 6 Nations takes a breather this weekend but rugby fans hungry for a bit of live action can sink their teeth into the Pro12, with all four provinces on the box.
A slew of internationals have been released from Ireland camp to beef up their sides, and a much-changed Leinster get the ball rolling on Friday night.
Victory against Edinburgh will keep the heat on table-toppers Munster, who travel to second-placed Ospreys on Saturday evening. After that Connacht welcome the Dragons to the Sportsground as they look to leapfrog Cardiff Blues in seventh.
The competition is still shorn of some big names who’ll be wrapped up for the night with a view to next week’s blockbuster, but it’s still a healthy slab of provincial fare to chew over before France roll into town.
Where to watch it: Leinster v Edinburgh, Friday, TG4, 7.35pm
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors, Saturday, Sky Sports 1, 3pm
Ospreys v Munster, Saturday, Sky Sports 1, 5.15pm
Connacht v Dragons, Saturday, TG4, 7.35pm
NUMBER OF THE WEEK
4 – Sutton United may be enormous underdogs in their FA Cup tie against Arsenal on Monday night but four of their players have tasted the big time. Craig Eastmond Jack Jebb, Roarie Deacon and Jeffrey Monakana all had spells with the Gunners in their younger days.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“I am from a city called Newcastle. Anybody who knows England, well they have one of the best football teams in the country.” - Mark Clattenburg gives a press conference after quitting the Premier League to become the head of referees in Saudi Arabia and immediately has people questioning what game he’s been watching for the last 20 years.
“It was phenomenal at the end of the game, the supporters. Please God, they’ll stay like that... “ – Another week, another outpouring of Davy Fitzgerald gratitude to the Model faithful who’ve backed him to the hilt since his arrival as manager.
“It’s a big game for us because we need to take them to the cleaners.” – Eddie Jones was as shy and retiring as always when looking towards his side’s next RBS 6 Nations clash against Italy.
“What I'd call the National now is a pre-Brexit, post-Brexit handicap.” – Gigginstown House racing manager Eddie O’Leary was not happy with the weights Don Poli, Outlander and Empire of Dirt received for the Grand National. The latter two will not travel to Aintree.
“I don’t think Bayern were at their very best. They didn’t have to be. The goals Arsenal gave away, well it was schoolboy stuff. Shambles.” – Roy Keane still loves sticking the boot in to Arsenal after all these years.
SPORT ON TV THIS WEEKEND
World Tour 500, Sky Sports 2, 6.30pm
Welsh Open quarter-finals, Eurosport 2, 11.45am
Genesis Open, Sky Sports 4, 7pm
Gloucester v Saracens, Premiership, BT Sport 1 from 7.45pm Leinster v Edinburgh, Pro12, TG4, 7.35pm
Cliftonville v Glentoran, NIFL Premiership, Sky Sports 3, 7.45pm Granada v Real Betis, La Liga, Sky Sports 5, 7.45pm
Juventus v Palermos, Serie A, BT Sport2, 7.45pm
The World Super 6, Sky Sports 4, 5am
Genesis Open, Sky Sports 4, 6pm
Soccer Sporting Gijon v Atletico Madrid, La Liga, Sky Sports 1, noon Burnley v Lincoln City, FA Cup fifth round, BT Sport 2, 12.30pm
Huddersfield v Manchester City, FA Cup fifth round, eir Sport1, 3pm
Millwall v Leicester, FA Cup fifth round, eir Sport 2, 3pm
Wolves v Chelsea, FA Cup fifth round, BT Sport 2, 5.30pm
Ballymena v Carrick Rangers, NI League Cup final, Sky Sports 2, 5.30pm
Deportivo v Alaves, La Liga, Sky Sports 5, 5.30pm
Empoli v Lazio, Serie A, BT Sport 1, 7.45pm
Sevilla v Eibar, La Liga, Sky Sports 5, 7.45pm
Welsh Open semi-finals, Eurosport 2, 12.45pm-4.30pm & 6pm-10pm
Ascot, ITV4 & 3e,1.30pm
Indoor Grand Prix, BBC 1, 1.15pm
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors, Pro12, Sky Sports 1, 3pm
Ospreys v Munster, Pro12, Sky Sports 1, 5.15pm
Bath v Harlequins, Premiership, BT Sport1, 3pm
Connacht v Dragons, Pro12, TG4, 7.35pm
World Tour 500, Sky Sports 2, 2pm-4pm & Sky Sports 3, 6.30pm-8.30pm
UCD v UL, Sigerson Cup final, TG4, 3pm Laois v Offaly, Allianz Hurling League, eir Sport 1, 7pm
Cork v Dublin, Allianz Hurling League, eir Sport 2, 7pm
Waterford v Tipperary, Allianz Hurling League, 2pm, deferred coverage of Clare v Kilkenny
Allianz League Sunday, RTÉ 2, 9.30pm
National Indoor Championships, Highlights, RTE 2, 8.30pm
New Zealand v South Africa, first ODI, Sky Sports 1, 1am
The World Super 6, Sky Sports 4, 3am
Genesis Open, Sky Sports 4, 6pm
Real Sociedad v Villarreal, La Liga, Sky Sports 2, 11am Bologna v Inter Milan, Serie A, eir Sport 1, 11.30am
Sale v Wasps, Premiership, BT Sport 1, 3pm
Kilmarnock v Aberdeen, Scottish Premiership, Sky Sports1, 1pm Dundee v Rangers, Scottish Premiership, Sky Sports1, 3.15pm
Fulham v Spurs, FA Cup, BBC 1, 2pm
Chievo v Napoli, Serie A, ESPN, 2pm
Blackburn Rovers v Manchester United, FA Cup, BT Sport 2, 4.15pm
Roma v Torino, Serie A, ESPN, 5pm
Celta Vigo v Osasuna, Sky Sports 3, 5.30pm