JOE marks your calendar for the sporting week ahead 8 years ago

JOE marks your calendar for the sporting week ahead

Between the Confederations Cup, more Lions action and the NBA Finals, there’s no shortage of sport to keep an eye on this week.

It might be mid June, and this is a summer without an Olympics or major football tournament, but there is still loads and loads of sport on. The League of Ireland has just gone on their break too but that doesn’t mean there is no football to watch.

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Those lovely folks at Fifa have put on the Confederations Cup for us again and with a line-up that contains the likes of Brazil, Uruguay, Spain and Italy, it is a pretty classy affair this time around.

From the rather more obscure clash of Tahiti and Nigeria tonight to the meeting of Brazil and Mexico on Wednesday and Italy and Brazil on Saturday, there is lots and lots of class action for the football junkie out there this week.

Unless you have been living under a very large and soundproof rock you will be aware that the very best rugby players from Britain and Ireland are currently in Australia playing for some crowd called the Lions. The idea will probably never catch on.

Anyway, after their big win over the Waratahs on Saturday, next up is the ACT Brumbies tomorrow morning. The build-up to the game has been overshadowed by the inclusion of semi-retired Welsh wing Shane Williams for just this game as Gatland looks to protect his first choice backs. It's a strange one but in the grand scheme of things, it won't matter too much.

Just four days before the first Test you have to assume that the XV, plus subs, Gatland uses tomorrow will not feature in the monster game in Brisbane on Saturday but we have a sneaky fancy that another big game from Simon Zebo could push him into the Test squad. Tuesday’s game will be interesting to watch, Saturday’s first Test is must-see TV.

There are a brace of provincial semi-finals on this Sunday in the GAA but before them you simply have to catch the final stages of the NBA season. In the best of seven Finals, San Antonio lead Miami 3-2, with the final two games scheduled to be played in Miami this week on Tuesday and Thursday. San Antonio, stuffed with veterans and experience, are looking  to win a first title since 2007. The Heat, with LeBron James aboard, were massive favourites all year but now they need to win the final two to take the title. It should be epic, especially if, as I suspect, it goes to a game 7 on Thursday night.

Add in the top-notch racing all week at Ascot and the final warm-up tournaments for Wimbledon and you have one hell of a seven days of sport coming up. Enjoy!

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