INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan Cork manager Denis Walsh may not be finished his clear-out just yet
# Morning Score
The Morning Score: Tuesday
Rooney threatens to cross town, Cork hurlers check their mobiles for texts from Denis Walsh and Declan Kidney ponders his Lions future

1. #RETIREMENT More veteran Cork stars may face forced retirement, Rebel hurling manager Denis Walsh admits today, after iconic wing back Séan Óg Ó hAilpín was compelled to bow out yesterday.

O hAilpín was controversially informed by Walsh that he was “not part of his plans” for next season and now many other star names are nervously awaiting news on their inter-county futures. As the Cork management team review last season’s progress in which they reached an All-Ireland semi-final with Kilkenny, a series of meetings with other senior panellists is expected to prompt yet more retirement announcements.

2. #INTERNATIONAL RULES The preparations for this year’s series get underway tomorrow evening on Leeside – with the aforementioned Ó hAilpín set to cast a long shadow over the proceedings.

The first members of the Australian squad flew into Cork on Sunday, with the rest landing yesterday. Besides a light workout at the Mardyke complex last evening, tomorrow’s friendly – if that isn’t an oxymoron in Compromise Rules parlance – against a combined Cork universities squad at Pairc Ui Rinn (6pm) will be their first taste of action on Irish soil. The now-retired Rebel hurler will line out for the home side.

3. #VACANCY Former Middlesbrough fans favourite Tony Mowbray is fancied to take the Riverside hot-seat this week after Gordon Strachan ripped up his contract last night and walked away from the job without compensation.

4. #CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti will assess Ashley Cole and Michael Essien ahead of their European showdown with Spartak Moscow before deciding whether to risk the pair’s dodgy ankles on the artificial pitch at the Luzhniki Stadium tonight.

Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, is likely to select fit-again captain Cesc Fabregas for Arsenal’s Group H tie against Shakhtar Donetsk at the Emirates Stadium this evening. In the night’s glamour tie AC Milan pay a visit to old rivals Real Madrid.

5. #ROONEY The realisation is dawning this morning that Rooney means business. The United striker is, incredibly, prepared to pursue a transfer to neighbours Manchester City after being told that the Old Trafford chiefs have no intention of making him the highest-paid player in English football. Predictably, Roy Keane had something to say on the matter.

The Eastlands hierarchy are said to be preparing a sensational transfer package that would see them pay out £50million for Rooney, plus another £50m in wages over a four-year deal. But would he be really happy?

6. #LIONS As he prepares for next month’s autumn internationals, Ireland boss Declan Kidney knows this morning that if he fancies a shot at coaching the Lions in Australia in 2013, he will have to think twice about any contract extension the IRFU may offer him after next year’s World Cup.

New team manager Andy Irvine, speaking in London yesterday, insisted he wanted his new head coach to be in place for at least one year before the tour and not to be coaching a national side in the 2013 Six Nations. Though the tireless Ian McGeechan admitted last night that he’d fancy a fifth crack at the top tour job.