THE WEEK AHEAD: MAIN EVENTS

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TODAY

Golf: The European Open at the K Club, (K for Kildare) outside Dublin. The cut has been made and the remainder of the field fight for first prize and Ryder Cup points. Darren Clarke grabbed the headlines with a round of 60 and a hole in one but a secondary attraction is the prospect of witnessing Open champion Paul Lawrie attempting to justify his Carnoustie triumph - not, as the Americans assume, the fortunate winner of what they claimed was a farcical competition.

WEDNESDAY

Football: European Champions' Cup, second qualifying round, second leg. Rangers should cruise past Finland's FC Haka with a 4-1 first-leg lead to meet Parma in the next round. Meanwhile in the Intertoto Cup semi-final, second leg, West Ham travel to The Netherlands protecting a 1-0 lead against Heerenveen as they attempt to qualify for the Uefa Cup.

Super League: Bottom club Hull Sharks, some of whose players are embroiled in a pay dispute with the club, are hosts to Gateshead Thunder, who are enjoying a reasonably successful first season and are fresh from Sunday's missionary work against Wigan in Edinburgh.

THURSDAY

Cricket: England v New Zealand, third Test, Old Trafford. Having gifted the second Test to the Kiwis courtesy of the usual batting collapse, England must regain the advantage with or without broken-finger victim captain Nasser Hussain and some boys from the old brigade. Don't hold your breath.

Golf: Volvo Scandinavian Masters. More late efforts to grab Ryder Cup points.

FRIDAY

Super League: Leeds Rhinos v Warrington Wolves. Iestyn Harris's old club visit Headingley hoping to inflict a second consecutive home defeat and keep on course for a top-five finish and a place in the Super League play- offs.

SATURDAY

Athletics: IAAF Grand Prix, Crystal Palace. Apart from the cream of Britain's talent, here's an unrivalled opportunity to see some of the world's greatest athletes in action in this country, including Maurice Greene, Marion Jones, Hicham El Guerrouj, Haile Gebrselassie and many more. Just one moan: which planning genius is responsible for this athletics feast clashing with the first afternoon of the English football season?

Football: It's back.

Rugby union: The Tri-nations tournament moves to South Africa, where the beleaguered hosts and soon-to-be-deposed world champions face resurgent New Zealand in Pretoria. A change of captain and some tinkering with the team should not be enough to stop the All Blacks.

SUNDAY

Football: The new season's first competitive appearance by Manchester United, who make the trip along the East Lancs Road to Goodison Park, where once high-flying Everton lie in wait. In Scotland, newly promoted Hibs visit Dundee for one of those infuriating 6.05pm kick-offs. After the 2 May Old Firm farce at Celtic Park, when Rangers won the title and violence spilled on to the streets, there was talk of changing kick-off times for Sunday televised matches to prevent supporters spending all day getting tanked up. Since then the silence has been deafening.

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