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England to name Ashes squad on Sunday

England captain Joe Root set to have a full-strength squad to pick from after player concerns over coronavirus protocols were allayed; a 17 or 18 player group likely to be selected, with a separate Lions squad providing injury cover and practice opposition in Australia

Last Updated: 09/10/21 9:32am

England captain Joe Root will name his Ashes squad on Sunday

England captain Joe Root will name his Ashes squad on Sunday

England will name their Ashes squad on Sunday, after this winter’s tour of Australia was given the conditional approval by the ECB Board.

Player concerns over coronavirus protocols have been allayed, meaning England captain Joe Root will have a full-strength squad to pick from.

Root and vice-captain Jos Buttler had previously spoken of their hesitance to accept some of Australia’s strict Covid rules, but the ECB announced on Friday the tour would go ahead subject to “several critical conditions being met”.

The squad is likely to consist of 17 or 18 players, with a separate England Lions group providing injury cover and practice opposition in Australia.

England head coach Chris Silverwood will select the squad with Root

England head coach Chris Silverwood will select the squad with Root

England remain without injured fast bowlers Jofra Archer and Olly Stone, while Ben Stokes is unlikely to feature as he continues an indefinite break from the game for mental health reasons.

The decision to go ahead with the tour, taken at an ECB meeting on Friday, followed positive talks held between England players and Cricket Australia (CA) earlier this week.

England’s cricketers raised concerns about conditions for the five-match series, due to begin in Brisbane on December 8, including quarantine arrangements for them and their families along with off-field restrictions.

The ECB said in a statement on Friday: “Over recent weeks we have made excellent progress in moving forward on the England Men’s Ashes Tour.

“To facilitate further progress and allow a squad to be selected, The ECB Board has met today and given its approval for the tour to go ahead. This decision is subject to several critical conditions being met before we travel.

“We look forward to the ongoing assistance from Cricket Australia in resolving these matters in the coming days.”

The five Tests are due to be played in five states, each of which have their own Covid-19 regulations.

The second Test will be a day-nighter in Adelaide (16-20 December) before the traditional Melbourne Boxing Day Test (26-30 December).

Sydney will host the fourth Test (5-9 January), before a potential decider at Perth’s Optus Stadium (14-18 January).

Australia retained the Ashes when the teams last met in 2019 after a 2-2 series draw.

Hussain expects England to name full-strength squad

Former England Test captain Nasser Hussain said on Friday the announcement suggests players have been convinced the conditions they wanted for themselves and their families will be possible.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Hussain said: “I am hearing that as long as those conditions are met most of the players are very happy.

Sky Sports' Nasser Hussain says he has heard all the fit England players want to go to Australia for the Ashes.

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Sky Sports’ Nasser Hussain says he has heard all the fit England players want to go to Australia for the Ashes.

Sky Sports’ Nasser Hussain says he has heard all the fit England players want to go to Australia for the Ashes.

“They have still got injuries with the likes of Jofra Archer and Olly Stone in the fast-bowling department.

“Obviously the big one is Ben Stokes and Ben has just had that finger operation. He has had some time away from the game for his mental health and we will have to wait and see as to what happens with Ben Stokes later in the tour.

“I think [the ECB] will give Ben Stokes as much time as he needs to get back playing cricket, whether that be this winter or sometime after that.”

Read more here SkySports | News

The Suicide Squad post-credits: Is there a scene after the credits? James Gunn speaks out

The Suicide Squad post-credits: Is there a scene after the credits? James Gunn speaks out

In July this year, The Suicide Squad is going to continue the journey began by David Ayer in 2016. This time around, however, the franchise is receiving a soft reboot with James Gunn at the helm and a collection of new characters – as well as a handful of returning ones. So far, the DC Comics film has received a couple of trailers, hinting at a world-ending force threatening the group of misfits.

Is there a scene after the credits in The Suicide Squad?

WARNING: The Suicide Squad spoilers ahead.

The film has not yet been released, but director Gunn has already confirmed there will be a post-credits scene in The Suicide Squad.

The Guardians of the Galaxy creator has been very vocal about his upcoming film on Twitter and most recently revealed some details about the scene which takes place after the credits have rolled.

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Gunn wrote to his 900k Twitter followers: “I find it disconcerting at times that many folks seem more interested in crossovers, cameos, references and post-credit scenes than they do the actual story & characters of a specific film!

“When making a film I spend 99.9 percent of my time thinking about story and character and .1 percent the rest.”

In response to this, a fan asked: “Is this an implicit confirmation that Suicide Squad won’t have a post-credit scene, or am I thinking too much?”

To which, Gunn replied: “It DOES have a post-credit scene. I love them. I think they give the audience a reason to sit through all the folks who worked so hard on the show.”

WATCH THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY POST-CREDITS SCENE BELOW  

Gunn went on to add: “But they’re always an afterthought, a snack, not the main course.”

The director then summed up his thoughts by saying: “You can have good characters without a good story but there’s no such thing as a good story without good characters. It’s not possible.”

This will not be the first time the creative has indulged in post-credits scenes, after utilising them in his Marvel movies previously.

The final moments after the credits rolled in Guardians of the Galaxy introduced Howard the Duck after Knowhere was destroyed.

WATCH THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 2 POST-CREDITS SCENES BELOW 

Gunn also included a post-credits scene in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.

In this sequel, the director included five post-credits scenes, all of which had their own parts in the universe.

On top of some fun inclusions with teenage Groot and Miley Cyrus, the scene with the biggest impact was the reveal of the next potential Guardians of the Galaxy foe.

In the scene, Elizabeth Debicki’s Ayesha creates a new figurehead of the Sovereign race.

What do you think? Do you like post-credit scenes? Join the debate in the comments section here

Ayesha concludes the scene by announcing: “I think I will call him Adam.”

This is most likely Adam Warlock, one of the legendary Marvel Comics villains who is renowned for taking on the Guardians.

The Suicide Squad hits cinemas on July 30, 2021.

The Guardians of the Galaxy films are available on Disney Plus now.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed

England speedster Kyle Walker says squad is like a 'mini youth club' ahead of Euro 2020

England speedster Kyle Walker says squad is like a 'mini youth club' ahead of Euro 2020

If anybody steps out of line while on England duty, Man City speedster Walker challenges them to a foot race.

The Manchester City defender, at 31, is the elder statesmen of the England group – 14 years old than the youngest member Jude Bellingham.

But he is refusing to take any gyp from the young whipper-snappers.

“I’ve been with England for 11 years now so I must be doing something right to be called up at the age of 31,” the former Tottenham full-back said.

“I always say to the young ones, ‘You might think I’m old’ and they gave me a bit of stick when I shout ‘Oldest starts’ in the possession or games.

“But I say, ‘If any of you want to race me, I am more than happy…and I’ll probably give you a head start as well.’

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But regardless of the date of birth on his passport, most of the time Walkers prefers to be considered part of the young set. Especially when it comes to playing pranks.

“Everyone is in and out of each other’s rooms, making sure they are upbeat,” Walker reveals on official England podcast.

“We play pranks on each other and it’s kind of like a mini youth club.

“It’s everything. We have 26 men who are ruthless at every opportunity.

“You have to watch your back at all times but that’s good for the team and the spirit.

“When we get on that pitch and cross that white line, we know it’s serious and we need to work hard and be dedicated.

“But down time is down time, and we need to make sure everyone is as comfortable as possible.

Although if the COVID bubble in which England have to operate gets too intense, as the oldest Walker feels he needs to be the most responsible.

“It’s going to take its toll,” he added. 

“You are going to go through tough moments.

“So I have said to the lads, ‘Please if you need anything or you are feeling down knock on my door.'”

Although before going in, they might want to check first there is not a bucket perched on top.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Clarence Williams III dead: The Mod Squad actor dies of colon cancer at 81

Clarence Williams III dead: The Mod Squad actor dies of colon cancer at 81

The Mod Squad actor Clarence Williams III has died aged 81, his management team confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. He had been suffering with colon cancer.

The actor passed away in Los Angeles on Friday 4 June.

He was best known for his role as undercover cop Lincoln Hayes on the ABC drama The Mod Squad, which aired from 1968 and 1973.

His long-running career saw him feature on productions including The Cosby Show, The Littlest Hobo, Miami Vice, Twin Peaks, Tales from the Crypt, Star Trek and Walker, Texas Ranger.

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Williams was born in 1939 to professional musician Clay Williams, before being raised by his grandparents who were also famous in the industry.

After realising acting was his forte, he began his career on the stage in the ’60s.

He earned a Tony nomination in 1965 for best featured actor in a play for his work in the drama Slow Dance on the Killing Ground.

Williams returned to Broadway decades later to star opposite Maggie Smith in the original 1979 production Tom Stoppard’s Night and Day.

Following the sad news of his passing, stars and fans alike took to social media to pay their respects to the actor.

Living Colour’s Vernon Reid tweeted: “Mod Squad broke new ground. Clarence Williams III broke new ground. You can draw a direct line from Clarence Williams III to both Denzel & Idris.

“It’s his MF moody blood running through The Kid in Purple Rain that’s the furnace of his pain & genius. Rest In Power, Linc.”

Another fan wrote: “My heart is hurting right now at the passing of another bona fide legend. Clarence Williams III was an actor u can depend on to bring the heat in any film or show he was on.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

England boss Gareth Southgate makes six ruthless decisions as final Euro 2020 squad named

England boss Gareth Southgate makes six ruthless decisions as final Euro 2020 squad named

England final 26-man Euro 2020 squad 

Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson, Sam Johnstone, Jordan Pickford

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

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham, Jordan Henderson, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish

Forwards: Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling

The seven players cut from 33-man provisional squad

Goalkeeper: Aaron Ramsdale

Defenders: Ben Godfrey, Ben White

Midfielder: James Ward-Prowse

Forwards: Mason Greenwood, Jesse Lingard, Ollie Watkins 

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

England staff have Harry Maguire injury fear as Man Utd man sweats on spot in Euros squad

England staff have Harry Maguire injury fear as Man Utd man sweats on spot in Euros squad

There are growing fears in the England camp that Harry Maguire may not recover from his ankle injury in time for the Three Lions’ first Euro 2020 game against Croatia, according to reports. The Manchester United defender had his season ended prematurely when he was forced off with ligament damage against Aston Villa on May 9.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side won the game 3-1 but the injury left Maguire with a race to be fit for this summer’s international tournament.

England head coach Gareth Southgate revealed on Tuesday that United were keeping their cards close to their chest regarding Maguire’s fitness.

The centre-back travelled to Poland on Tuesday for United’s Europa League final defeat against Villarreal but did not take part in an open training session that day and was then an unused substitute for the game on Wednesday.

Goalkeeper David de Gea had his crucial spot-kick saved after each player left on the pitch had scored in the penalty shootout.

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And the United skipper is sweating on his spot in the final squad as a result with it possible Southgate could pick a defender readily available for the entire tournament.

It would be a blow for England to be without Maguire, who was key during their run to the World Cup semi-final in 2018.

His headed goal helped defeat Sweden in the last-16.

While most nations have already named a 26-man squad, Southgate has chosen to only name a provisional squad so far due to uncertainty over the fitness of several stars.

Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson missed the remainder of the Premier League season after suffering a groin injury in February, but was fit enough to be named on the bench for the Reds’ 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on the final day.

Southgate has also accepted that he must nurse Maguire’s United team-mate Marcus Rashford through the tournament if the forward is selected.

Rashford has had problems with a shoulder issue recently and has played in 59 matches for club and country since September.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed