Copa del Rey final venue, Barcelona’s Camp Nou, not decided without a fight

The Camp Nou will host the 2015 Copa del Rey final, a decision that's been a long time coming in Spain.

And so the soap opera comes to an end, and what fun it was. So much fun, in fact, that we'll do it all over again next year. Same time, same place. Or should that read "different time, different place" instead? Not long after one Seville-based sports newspaper announced that the Copa del Rey final would be held at Real Betis' Benito de Villamarin stadium, the Spanish football Federation announced that the Copa del Rey final will be held at FC Barcelona's Camp Nou stadium on May 30.


WATCH – Martin O’Neill ahead of Ireland v Poland

Martin O'Neill preparing for his biggest game yet as Ireland boss

Martin O’Neill preparing for his biggest game yet as Ireland boss

Martin O’Neill has admitted he has yet to finalise his team ahead of the Republic of Ireland’s vital Euro 2016 qualifying clash with Poland on Sunday.

O'Neill has spent the last week keeping his fingers crossed over a series of injury doubts, all the while considering options to plug potential gaps in his starting line-up.

Everton midfielder Darron Gibson, who would have been in contention to start in the qualifier at the Aviva Stadium, has already returned to his club after admitting defeat in his battle against a groin problem, although O'Neill received better news on Friday when full-back Stephen Ward and winger James McClean were both able to train in Malahide.

However, the team will not be named until the day of the game, and that means there is still time for men to force their way into his plans.

"I think there are positions up for grabs, like there have always been since I have come here, and I think any international manager would probably tell you exactly the same," said O'Neill.

"He's got an idea that he can formulate a couple of weeks beforehand, but the first time that you really consider it is when you have players at your disposal for the week of the game.

"Of course, we have had one or two players who for one reason or another, generally through injury, haven't really been available for the start of the week, so then you have to formulate different ideas, different plans for the players that you think might participate in the game.

"But overall, there have always been positions up for grabs here."

Ward and McClean have both been struggling with ankle problems and while the Wigan winger has been a regular member of the starting XI under O'Neill, it is perhaps the absence of Burnley left-back Ward which would cause him the greater consternation.

Marc Wilson can and has played at full-back, although has more recently been employed as a central defender by his country, while Ciaran Clark is also left-sided and could play in both positions.

However, there is a school of thought which suggests that any vacancy on the left side of the back four could be filled by Hull winger Robbie Brady, who has operated there in the past for both club and country.

Meanwhile, O'Neill has confirmed he is looking to push for a victory on Sunday and would not be satisfied with a draw against the Group D leaders.

"Naturally, we are at home and the onus is on us to try to get forward and try to win the game, and that's what we are going to try to do," he added.

"But there are a number of games left in the competition. You mentioned the top two places [qualify] automatically – it's a tough old group we are in, but we are going for it."

Watch O'Neill's latest press briefing with the media below:

Martin O'Neill Friday interview from Football Association of Ireland on Vimeo.

Paul O’Connell wins Six Nations Player of the Tournament

Paul O'Connell

Paul O’Connell

Paul O’Connell has been voted the Player of the 2015 Six Nations Rugby Championship.

The Irish skipper won a public vote after leading his team to back-to-back titles, playing superbly all through the five matches and even scoring the opening try in the decisive win over Scotland last weekend.

Wales forward Alun-Wyn Jones was second, with Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw pipping Wales fly-half Dan Biggar for third place.

O'Connell becomes the first Irishman to gain the accolade since his current team-mate Tommy Bowe five years ago.

A shortlist of 12 players was decided through a combination of match statistics, analysing the best performing players across a set range of criteria and then followed by a public vote.

O'Connell, who won his 100th cap during the tournament, said: "I am delighted to receive the RBS player of the championship trophy.

"When you see the names that have gone before, you realise what a great honour it is. I am very grateful for all the supporters who voted for me."

A total of 70,448 votes were cast, with O'Connell gaining 18,842 of those.