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The Morning Score: Wednesday

Get ready for an espresso shot of sports news that should keep you charged up until midday at least.

Image: ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Every morning TheScore.ie brings you the stories you need to know before that first cup of coffee.

#RUGBY New Munster coach, Rob Penney is really making his mark. Paul O’Connell, who has captained the province full-time for the past six years, has conceded that he should be giving up the armband ahead of the new season.

Doug Howlett has captained Munster three times so far in pre-season games and looks the most likely candidate to take over the coin tossing and referee coaxing/placating duties.

#GAA One day closer to what should be a cracking encounter at Croke Park this weekend – Cork versus Donegal. Cork boss Conor Counihan says he expects a storm to sweep down from the North West and he is determined to avoid a repeat of a quarter-final beating at the hands of the same side three years ago.

#PREMIER LEAGUE Can Eden Hazard illuminate again or will he be hacked to tiny, Belgian pieces before he gets a chance? Perhaps a tad unfair on a football friendly Reading side but coach Brian McDermott will be looking to shut-down the new Chelsea signing ahead of the two side’s meeting tonight.

I will be keeping an eye out for Fernando Torres – I need him to save my wretched Fantasy Football start.

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#SHAMELESS Australian Simon Clarke put in a monster effort to claim the 160km fourth stage at Vuelta á Espana and made certain that the winning photos would be shown around the world when he paid tribute to Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt by doing his trademark ‘bolt’ celebration pose. Well done for having the energy to even raise your arms after that sterling show of cycling.

#SNUBSVILLE It sounds risible to me but new Everton striker, Kevin Mirallas claims that he chose The Toffees ahead of another interested suitor – Arsenal. But, after reading the Belgian’s comments, it does not seem like such a stretch. Credible.

The big rugby season preview… Munster

Sampling Gaelic football life with the Rebels and Tír Chonaill

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Patrick McCarry

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