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Warren Feeney: Manager leaves Glentoran after nine months in charge



Warren Feeney
Warren Feeney was appointed Glentoran manager in June 2023

Warren Feeney has left Glentoran by mutual consent after nine months in charge of the east Belfast club.

Feeney’s departure follows Saturday’s 3-0 defeat by Loughgall at the Oval, a result that saw the Glens drop to fifth place in the Irish Premiership table.

The 43-year-old was appointed Glens boss in June 2023, succeeding Rodney McAree, who left to become manager of Dungannon Swifts.

Feeney, 46-times capped by Northern Ireland, previously managed Linfield.

Glentoran will meet the Blues in an Irish Cup semi-final at the Oval on 29 March.

Feeney guided his side to the County Antrim Shield final, which they lost 2-1 to Larne in January, but it has been the erratic nature of their league form which will have caused most concern.

The Glens have won 14, drawn eight and lost nine of their top-flight fixtures to sit one point behind fourth-placed Crusaders, but a mammoth 24 points adrift of leaders Larne and 22 in arrears of cross-city rivals Linfield.

Feeney’s team had won just one of their last six league outings, that an 8-2 demolition of bottom club Newry City on 17 February.

Before that, they relinquished two-goal leads to draw 2-2 in consecutive home matches against Cliftonville and Carrick Rangers.

Saturday’s comprehensive loss at the hands of Loughgall was preceded by a midweek goal-less draw at Glenavon.

Among the highlights of Feeney’s nine-month tenure was a 4-0 victory over Linfield at the Oval on 1 December, a result David Healy’s championship-chasing charges avenged to some extent with a 2-0 win at Windsor Park on Boxing Day.

Despite having the significant financial support of Iranian businessman Ali Pour and adopting a full-time model in recent years, the Glens have failed to make any sustained challenge for league title honours and their most recent trophy success was an Irish Cup triumph under former manager Mick McDermott in July 2020.

Pressure grew on Feeney following their defeat on Saturday, a performance which the former Northern Ireland striker himself described as “totally unacceptable”.

Subsequently, a number of Glentoran supporters’ clubs called on owner Pour to make changes at the club.

Feeney had been managing National League South side Welling United when he took charge of the Glens, having previously been at the helm of Ards and Bulgarian side OFC Pirin Blagoevgra.

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Deontay Wilder: Ex-WBC world champion confident of Anthony Joshua fight



Former WBC world champion Deontay Wilder tells BBC Sport he is “90%” sure a fight with Anthony Joshua will happen in the future, as he prepares to face Zhilei Zhang on 1 June.

READ MORE: Wilder says Joshua fight will be revived with big win over Zhang

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Taulupe Faletau: Wales number eight set for Cardiff return



Taulupe Faletau back in training with Cardiff
Taulupe Faletau has played 14 games for Cardiff after joining from Bath in 2022

Cardiff and Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau is set to return to action after a six-month injury lay-off.

Faletau, 33, suffered a broken arm in Wales’ World Cup victory against Georgia in Nantes in October 2023 before missing this year’s Six Nations with a calf injury.

The British and Irish Lions Test star has since returned to Cardiff training.

Faletau is available for the United Rugby Championship (URC) trip to face Ulster on Friday night.

Faletau, who has played 104 times for Wales, returns to action with the summer tour to Australia on the horizon.

Head coach Warren Gatland has lost senior figures in Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric, George North, Dan Biggar, Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb to international retirement in the last 12 months.

In Faletau’s absence, Cardiff back-row duo Alex Mann and Mackenzie Martin have been capped by Wales, while Aaron Wainwright has filled the national number eight role.

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Ross Molony: Leinster locks signs for Bath Rugby on three-year contract from 2024-25



Ross Molony
Ross Molony has won four league titles and the European Champions Cup with Leinster

Bath have announced the signing of Leinster lock Ross Molony on a three-year contract.

The 29-year-old will join up with the Somerset club ahead of the 2024-25 season.

Molony has made 177 appearances for Leinster and has won four league titles and the European Champions Cup with the Dublin club.

Leinster are currently five points clear at the top of the United Rugby Championship table.

They face Premiership leaders Northampton Saints on Saturday, May 4, for a place in a third Champions Cup final in a row.

“Ross is a true professional and his journey in rugby is a testament to this,” director of rugby Johann van Graan told the club’s website.external-link

“His work ethic and leadership are some of his key characteristics and I believe he will play a huge part in our journey in the next number of years.”

Bath are currently second in the Premiership, five points behind Northampton.

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