EVERY MORNING, TheScore.ie brings you the sport stories you need to know with your morning coffee.
1. #RED Paul O’Connell lost his appeal against the four-week ban he picked up for striking Ospreys’ Jonathon Thomas two weeks ago in Limerick.
2. #ARREST O’Connell’s Munster teammate Doug Howlett was ‘unlucky’ to be arrested by gardai in Kilklennt city earlier this week, the Irish Times reports.
3. #AP It was back to business for BBC Sports Personality of the Year Tony McCoy yesterday as he got reacquainted with Kauto Star ahead of the William Hill King George VI Chase.
4. #EXIT Manchester United yesterday said that Edwin van der Sar will retire at the end of the season.
Alex Ferguson insists that his side will be ready to replace him.
5. #BRRR The ridiculously-cold weather continues to hit the sports calendar with racing threatened most.
6. #BUSY Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti is not happy with the traditional heavy Christmas football programme. But says his off-form Blues can handle the pressure.
7. #HAPPY CHRISTMAS For the day that’s in it, this effort from the Belfast Giants is worth another watch.