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Warburton picks his Lions XV for first Test vs South Africa

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Last Updated: 17/07/21 10:46pm

Sam Warburton captained the Lions on two tours

Sam Warburton captained the Lions on two tours

The Lions played their final warm-up game before the Test series against the world champion Springboks starts next weekend.

Following Wednesday’s loss to a Springbok heavy South Africa ‘A’ side, the Lions bounced back with a solid 49-3 win over the Stormers.

Plenty of players stuck up their hands for selection and the Lions coaches will have a tough decision to see who makes the starting XV to face South Africa.

Two-times Lions captain Sam Warburton gives his views on who should start for the Lions in Cape Town next Saturday.

The Pack

Sam Warburton's Lions forwards

Sam Warburton’s Lions forwards

“Mako Vunipola starts at loosehead, he is the most industrious loosehead we have. He has massive physicality and great ball-handling skills to allow the Lions play wide. He has massive experience and he is good in defence.”

“Luke Cowan Dickie, again is the most physical hooker we have got. He contributes brilliantly at set piece and in the loss. Tadhg Furlong is in at tighthead for me – I think he is everyone’s tighthead.

Warburton picks his Lions XV for first Test vs South Africa

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“Maro Itoje has been great and I think Alun Wyn Jones comes straight back in to captain the team – I think that is what Warren Gatland will want.

“I did originally have Hamish Watson and Tom Curry in, but Tadhg Beirne proved to me that he should play six. He just contributes so much in the lineout, in the wide channel and his offloading game as well as the breakdown.

Highlights as the British and Irish Lions faced Stormers in their final warm-up of the South Africa tour

Sky Sports 5:01
Highlights as the British and Irish Lions faced Stormers in their final warm-up of the South Africa tour

Highlights as the British and Irish Lions faced Stormers in their final warm-up of the South Africa tour

“Taulupe Faletau is just phenomenal in the 50m channels when he gets space and his experience ast the base of the scrum will be crucial. Curry is the most physical No 7 we have got and has been brilliant. I think Watson will be phenomenal off the bench – he will be exactly the energy the Lions will need.

“I think this is a pack who can physically dominate SA.”

The Backs

Sam Warburton's Lions backs

Sam Warburton’s Lions backs

“In the backs, Conor Murray and Dan Biggar have probably played together the most. Murray’s kicking game has been good – I think on Wednesday [Against South Africa ‘A’] there was one kick that was not ideal.

“With Bundee Aki you need to have a slammer and a banger in centre somewhere. I don’t think Robbie Henshaw did quite enough on Saturday.

“I worked backwards with my centres because I have Josh Adams, Liam Williams and Anthony Watson at the back. If a Stuart Hogg was in there, then perhaps go with Chris Harris in the centre. But you need some creativity in the centre. Given that the Lions may have a 6-2 split on the bench [six forward and two backs], Elliot Daly’s creativity means he could cover the back three as well.

“If he does play at 13, it will be his fourth start there so I think he will be able to cope there.

“Watson and Williams are the best three players we have got aerially, they are safe hands under the box kicks that will come from the Springboks. Watson and Adams are lethal finishers and are very physical in the breakdown and in defence.”

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This post originally posted here SkySports | News

Macron claims debunked: Expert picks apart President’s Covid speech – ‘None are founded!’

Macron claims debunked: Expert picks apart President’s Covid speech - ‘None are founded!’

On Monday, the French President announced Covid vaccines would be compulsory from September. It would be mandatory for health workers and special passes would be required for anyone wanting to go to a restaurant or on a train or a plane.

While addressing the nation, Mr Macron made several scientific claims about the virus and the Delta variant.

Mr Macron claimed the more infectious Delta variant is “three times more contagious” than the first strain.

However, Professor Peter McCullogh from the Baylor University Medical Centre hit back.

He said because of “herd immunity, the virus cannot infect so easily as it did last year”.

Therefore, the Delta variant is “not three times more contagious”.

Elsewhere in his speech, Mr Macron said all the vaccines that are available in France protects the public against the Delta variant.

But Professor McCullogh argued that in the UK 42 percent of Delta infections were in fully-vaccinated patients.

He argued that the “vaccine has no impact in its severity” and the Delta strain is mild for everyone “whether they have been vaccinated or not”.

READ MORE: Barnier issues Frexit warning: France could quit the EU

The Professor of Medicine also lashed out at Mr Macron’s claims that to end the pandemic, “we must vaccinate everywhere”.

Professor McCullogh went on to say how the world will “not get to zero cases”.

He said: “It will degenerate into a form of common cold.

“It will be hard to distinguish from other upper respiratory infections.”

Professor McCullogh added: “The lack of safety and efficacy of vaccines limits their use.

“In the near future, the vaccination programme will end and we will treat the most serious cases in hospital just like we do with common colds.”

While addressing the nation, Mr Macron said: “We must go towards vaccination of all French people, it is the only way towards a normal life.

“A new race against the clock is on.

“We may need to ask ourselves the question of mandatory vaccination for all.”

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: World Feed

Biden Picks Ex-West Virginia Health Official as Drug Czar

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is nominating West Virginia’s former health commissioner as the nation’s top anti-drug official, tapping a doctor who served on the front lines of the nation’s opioid epidemic.

The White House said Tuesday that Dr. Rahul Gupta will be the first physician to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy, also known as the “drug czar.”

Biden Picks Ex-West Virginia Health Official as Drug Czar

Dr Rahul Gupta, former state health officer of West Virginia, talks in his office.

The nomination drew bipartisan praise from West Virginia officials. Republican Gov. Jim Justice called it “great news,” and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said the pick “means someone with firsthand knowledge of the opioid crisis, especially in West Virginia, will be coordinating the national fight against the drug epidemic that continues to ravage our nation.”

“Dr. Gupta will bring over a decade of extensive experience combatting the drug epidemic to ONDCP – the office charged with addressing the drug epidemic that has killed over 90,000 Americans just last year,” Manchin said in a statement.

Gupta most recently served as the chief medical and health officer at March of Dimes.

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This post originally posted here Medscape Medical News

Pace of US inflation picks up again in test for Fed

Pace of US inflation picks up again in test for Fed

The breakneck pace of US consumer price increases seen since the start of the year accelerated in June in a challenge to the Federal Reserve’s case that the burst of inflationary pressures accompanying the economic reopening will prove temporary.

The consumer price index rose last month at the fastest pace since August 2008, up 5.4 per cent from the previous year. That is well above the 5 per cent rise reported in May and the 4.9 per cent increase that economists had forecast.

On a monthly basis, data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed price gains of 0.9 per cent, the biggest one-month jump since June 2008.

Stripping out volatile items like food and energy, “core” CPI rose from 3.8 per cent in May relative to the year before to 4.5 per cent in June.

Investors, economists and policymakers have scrutinised incoming inflation figures amid a fierce debate about the risk of runaway consumer prices fuelled by ultra-accommodative fiscal and monetary policy.

Price jumps have so far been most significant for sectors directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Travel-related expenses, such as airfares, have soared, while a semiconductor shortage has contributed to a jump in used car prices. 

One-third of the rise in the CPI last month stemmed from a record jump in previously-owned vehicle prices, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which appreciated 10.5 per cent in June from the previous month.

The US central bank has long characterised elevated inflation prints as “transitory”, which will fade as Covid-19 lockdowns ease further and supply catches up with pent-up demand. Joe Biden’s administration shares this view, and a White House official expressed confidence that inflationary pressures would soon abate.

Market measures of inflation expectations also reflect ebbing concerns about runaway consumer prices, with long-dated metrics running below their short-term counterparts. But some investors warn that higher inflation could persist for longer than many anticipate.

“Most of the increase in the monthly metrics still look related to massive supply-demand imbalances in categories that were ‘closed’ in 2020: used cars, hotel rooms, travel costs, and so forth,” said Guy LeBas, chief fixed-income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott. “Supply will eventually normalise in these categories, but it could take longer than common sense suggests, meaning that somewhat elevated inflation prints could last until 2022.”

US government bonds pared back recent gains after Tuesday’s release, sending yields higher from the recent lows seen since the Fed’s meeting on monetary policy in June, which raised the prospect of a quicker withdrawal of accommodation than initially expected.

The benchmark 10-year note traded 0.02 percentage points higher before settling around 1.38 per cent.

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This post originally posted here International homepage

Garcia picks North Carolina

Garcia picks North Carolina

Dawson Garcia

Dawson Garcia pulled his name from consideration for the NBA Draft this week.  Today, the 6’11 forward announced he would be transferring to North Carolina where he’ll be able to play for the Tar Heels immediately.

Garcia averaged 13 points and 6.6 rebounds a game for Marquette in his first season.  He scored 24 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in a 83-70 Marquette victory over the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill last season.

Garcia had six games with 20 or more points last season for a Marquette team that finished 13-14 and missed the NCAA Tournament.

Garcia paid visits to North Carolina, Arizona and Illinois and considered a return to Marquette with new coach Shaka Smart.  But in the end, Garcia picked the Tar Heels and their new head coach Hubert Davis.

Because Garcia put his name into the NCAA’s transfer portal before July 1, he’ll be eligible to play for the Tar Heels immediately.

Garcia’s departure from Marquette opens up a scholarship for the Golden Eagles for the upcoming season.  Smart has already brought in nine new players for next season.

Author: Bill Scott
Read more here >>> usnews

Fernando Alonso picks between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen for F1 title ‘favourite’

Fernando Alonso picks between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen for F1 title 'favourite'

Hamilton fell behind in the standings after a poor round in Monaco and has since been unable to claw back the lead of the standings from Verstappen over the past four races.

The Dutchman pulled out an 18 point lead over the seven-time world champion at the Styrian Grand Prix and is keen to do the same again at the same circuit this weekend for round nine, the Austrian Grand Prix.

The two-time world champion was partnered alongside Hamilton as his team-mate back at McLaren in 2007, before the Briton’s dominance with Mercedes during the hybrid era.

“It is very interesting from the outside to follow and watch,” the Alpine driver said. “At least we don’t have like previous years that it was Lewis against Lewis and sometimes Valtteri [Bottas], but not often.

“So at the moment we have a more interesting championship so we can follow with a little more adrenaline until Abu Dhabi. That’s a good thing.

Max Verstappen expects ‘tougher’ Lewis Hamilton fight ahead of Austria

“Of course it’s just nice in general to see a lot of fans back; I think everyone missed that a lot. It just creates an atmosphere that we’re all looking forward to this weekend.”

He added: “That weekend was very enjoyable but it’s not a guarantee that it will happen again, you know? We have to make sure that now with the softer compounds we again have a good car with a good balance and of course, people learn from their mistakes last week.”

In the other camp, Hamilton was clear to state Mercedes were still in the “fight” for the title this season but admitted Red Bull have a clear advantage.

“They’ve done a great job in these last four races,” admitted Hamilton, in the press conference on Thursday.

“It’s been really difficult for us from Monaco, which obviously was a bit of a disaster,” he continued, “and then the same for Baku, better at France and better last weekend but they have taken a step ahead of us and so we are just working as hard as we can to see if there’s a way we can close that gap.

“But we’re not even halfway through the season so I am still fighting and chasing for this title.”

Author: Claire Cottingham
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport

Gareth Southgate picks out area England must improve on for possible France or Germany tie

Gareth Southgate picks out area England must improve on for possible France or Germany tie

Gareth Southgate believes his England side have shown “moments” throughout the group stage to prove they’re capable of winning the tournament, but knows they will need to improve in one specific area to progress. Raheem Sterling grabbed his second goal of the tournament to hand England all three points and book their spot in the Euro 2020 round of 16 with France, Germany or Portugal potentially up next.

It’s now three clean sheets in as many games for England when some thought Southgate’s defence would be a worry heading into the tournament.

But there has been some criticism at England having only managed to score two goals in the tournament so far.

Harry Kane hasn’t looked his best with the Tottenham striker struggling to get in goalscoring opportunities.

Southgate suggests that goals were never going to be easy to score against the Czech Republic.

JUST IN: England star Jack Grealish passes Man City transfer audition

However, he wants to see his side improve from set pieces for their round of 16 tie next week at Wembley.

“I think the Czechs are a really good side,” Southgate said.

“They use the ball very well, they’re difficult to break down. I think there’s more to come from us.

“We haven’t scored from a set-play yet which, I know people laughed about ‘it’s only scoring from set plays’ but they’re crucial in big matches so we’ve got to get those nailed.


“But we’re not fluent but we are are having moments where we look a good side.”

Bukayo Saka came in for his first start for England in a major tournament at the age of just 19.

And Southgate was hugely impressed with the teenager’s performance.

“We’ve been super impressed with Bukayo throughout the whole month and he was excellent up at Middlesbrough,” he said.

“We’ve really liked him with and without the ball and, tonight, his receiving under pressure was fantastic.”

England set the tempo early on with both Jack Grealish and Saka impressing from the off.

Sterling had a great chance just minutes after kick off to score the opener after Tomas Vaclik came off his line with the Manchester City lobbing the ball over his head, only for it to rebound off the post.

But he didn’t have to wait too long for his second goal of the tournament after Saka drove with the ball from his own half.

The Arsenal star skipped past multiple challenges before breaking into the box with a dink towards the back post.

Grealish picked up the ball and dropped his shoulder to create enough space to dink the ball back towards where Saka delivered.

The teenager made a darting run to the centre of the goal though, giving Sterling the room to break off unmarked to the back post where he headed in from close range.

Czech Republic pushed for an equaliser and tested Jordan Pickford, who pulled off a fine save to keep his clean sheet.

England rode the small wave of pressure though before taking full control of the match.

Chances may have been few and far between for England, but Sterling’s goal proved enough to secure top spot and ensure they play against at Wembley in the next round.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Gareth Southgate snubs Jesse Lingard again as England boss picks Euro 2020 replacement

Gareth Southgate snubs Jesse Lingard again as England boss picks Euro 2020 replacement

“Basically, all the players that are here will be on that standby list,” the Three Lions boss told a press conference. “So Ben Godfrey, Ben White, Aaron Ramsdale, James Ward-Prowse, Jesse Lingard and Ollie Watkins, they will be the standby players.

“So if we have any injuries then one of them will come in. We can only change the squad on the basis of injuries and obviously those guys will be training with us and will be involved in the matches as well.

“I think that is important to get them into the games, not only because we feel if we have an issue they need to be ready. But they deserve it, their commitment to stay with the group, the respect for their team mates to want to be here, shows what playing for England means to this group of players.”

The inclusion of White bolsters England’s defensive ranks in the absence of Alexander-Arnold and provides additional versatility, with the Brighton centre-back able to do a job in midfield when required.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

England squad announced for Euro 2020 as Gareth Southgate picks 33-man team

England squad announced for Euro 2020 as Gareth Southgate picks 33-man team
Gareth Southgate has named his initial 33-man England squad for this summer’s European Championships. Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has been included in a bolstered squad which will be cut back before the tournament kicks off on June 11.

Alexander-Arnold is included in the squad alongside fellow right-backs Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Reece James and will now have the chance to prove himself in training over the coming weeks.

There are surprise inclusions for Everton defender Ben Godfrey and Brighton centre-back Ben White, while West Brom’s Sam Johnstone and Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale are included as extra goalkeepers due to injury to Burnley’s Nick Pope.

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson, Manchester United centre-back Harry Maguire and Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips are all included despite injury concerns.

Henderson has been out of action since February 20 with a groin injury and there are doubts over his match fitness.

Maguire has missed Manchester United’s last four games with an ankle injury and is not expected to be fit for Wednesday’s Europa League final against Villarreal.

Phillips picked up a shoulder injury against West Brom on the weekend, but Leeds are confident he will be fit for the Euros.

Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish is also included after shaking off injury to play the full 90 minutes of his side’s 2-1 win over Chelsea on the weekend.

JUST IN: Tottenham backed to out-muscle Everton in summer transfer battle

Among those to miss out on selection are Leicester’s James Maddison, Tottenham’s Eric Dier, Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Southampton’s Danny Ings and Leeds’ Patrick Bamford.

Jesse Lingard is included following a strong second half of the season on loan at West Ham from Man United, while Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse, Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins and Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham all made the cut.

Southgate will hold a press conference at 2pm to explain his selections.

UEFA changed its rules for squad selection this year, with the governing body allowing squads of 26, rather than 23, to cover for any potential coronavirus-related issues.

Teams must confirm their final selections by UEFA’s deadline at midnight on June 1, which is 10 days before the tournament kicks off on June 11 with Turkey taking on Italy at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.

England face Austria on June 2 and Romania on June 6 in tournament warm-ups at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium.


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Southgate’s side then get their tournament underway against Croatia at Wembley Stadium on June 13 before further Group D matches against Scotland and the Czech Republic on June 18 and 22 respectively.

Everton’s Godfrey is yet to pick up a senior cap but has made nine appearances for the Under-21s.

The 23-year-old made 31 appearances for Everton in the Premier League this season, impressing for Carlo Ancelotti’s side, despite their poor end to the campaign.

White is uncapped, but he has been a regular for Brighton this season, playing in 36 of their 38 Premier League games.

The 23-year-old has featured in central defence and holding midfield for the Seagulls this season and his versatility could be handy for England, who have injury concerns.

Chelsea’s James has won six caps for England since making his debut in the 3-0 win over Wales in October.

The 21-year-old has enjoyed a strong campaign for Chelsea, making 46 appearances in all competitions, playing at right-back, right-wingback and right-centre-back for Thomas Tuchel’s side.

The full squad is below.

Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson, Sam Johnstone, Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Chilwell, Conor Coady, Ben Godfrey, Reece James, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ben White

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham, Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse

Forwards: Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Mason Greenwood, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling, Ollie Watkins

What do you make of Gareth Southgate’s provisional Euro 2020 squad? Have your say in the comments below.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Rio Ferdinand picks out five Man City stars key to reaching first Champions League final

Rio Ferdinand picks out five Man City stars key to reaching first Champions League final

“Dias and Stones at the back were impenetrable, and Foden and Mahrez I thought were fantastic going forward.

“Fernandinho the captain today put in a real sterling performance at 36 years of age. Every man played their part today, fantastic performance.

“Great, great performance from this very, very good top team.”

PSG had Angel Di Maria sent off for a reckless kick out at Fernandinho late one.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed