Courtney Lawes warned clubmate Dan Biggar he is on the warpath as England rejected Sir Ian Botham’s claim that they are an unhappy camp. Lawes has been tasked with upping the physicality on Saturday in Wales where England must win to keep alive their Six Nations title hopes. Last night the Northampton forward spelled out his intention to “rattle” Welsh playmaker Biggar and ignite England’s tournament after a poor start. “My game is based on physicality and bringing that edge to the team,” said Lawes. “I am always pretty sore after games as I try to make good hits - and plenty of them. “Biggs is pretty tough to be fair, especially for a 10. But I caught him the last time we played and he said he felt it, which I was kind of chuffed about. “He is obviously a class player so if I can get some pressure on him I certainly will. I don’t think it will rattle him too much but I will try.” If Biggar was in any doubt of what is coming his way, his Saints employers kindly posted a … [Read more...] about Courtney Lawes on warpath as Saints prepare to collide in Wales-England showdown
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The British and Irish Lions moved a step closer to a ‘home’ tour after Boris Johnson announced plans for sporting crowds to return by the summer. Switching matches away from South Africa, where eight fixtures are scheduled for July and August, would be unprecedented in the history of rugby's greatest touring team. But it has emerged as the most attractive option following the unveiling of the Government’s "roadmap" for easing Covid restrictions in England. The Prime Minister said crowds of 10,000 could be permitted in 40,000-plus capacity venues after May 17, with a view to all restrictions being lifted on June 21. That would pave the way for normal service to resume at Wimbledon, The Open golf at Sandwich, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and England’s cricket series with Pakistan (ODI) and India. The Lions won’t make a decision before next month and insist every option remains on the table, not least as it is unclear whether the English roadmap will be followed by … [Read more...] about British & Irish Lions move step closer to ‘home’ tour against South Africa
Tory Rishi Sunak today announced changes to tax, furlough and Stamp Duty in his 2021 Budget . The Chancellor said he must take "unpopular" and "honest" decisions as he reversed some Tory Corporation Tax cuts and cancelled an Income Tax break for millions of Brits. He warned next year borrowing will hit £234bn or 10.3% of GDP - “an amount so large it has only one rival in recent history, this year”. And Covid spending including fiscal support has hit £407bn. But in reality the Chancellor put off many of the most painful decisions until later and gave businesses a huge tax break for now - one he claimed was the biggest in history. He also extended several breaks and Covid support schemes beyond the end of the roadmap. Mr Sunak said more than 700,000 people have lost their jobs since March and the economy has fallen by more than 10% - the fastest fall in more than 300 years. “It’s going to take this country and the whole world a long time to recover from this extraordinary … [Read more...] about Budget 2021 summary: Key announcements at a glance as Covid spending hits £407bn
Here are the key points from Chancellor Rishi Sunak's budget speech: • Economy expected to return to pre-COVID levels by the middle of next year, six months earlier than previously thought • GDP growth forecast for this year downgraded to 4% (from 5.5%) according to Office for Budget Responsibility • Unemployment expected to peak at 6.5% • Forecasts show government borrowing reaching £355bn in 2020/21, of 17% of the national income - the highest level since the Second World War. For 2021/22 it climbs to £234bn, 10.3% of GDP. • Debt is set to peak at 97.1% of GDP in 2023-24. • An additional £65bn in spending in response to coronavirus takes total fiscal support to £407bn • £1.6bn will go towards continuing the vaccine roll-out and improving future preparedness • Chancellor confirms furlough scheme will be extended until the end of September, with the government paying 80% of salary though employers will asked to put in 10% from July and 20% from August • Help for … [Read more...] about Budget 2021 key points: What was announced in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s speech?
Germany on Wednesday took a step towards forcing companies to take responsibility for any labor or environmental abuses in their global supply chain. A new law (Lieferkettengesetz in German) allows for hefty fines starting at several hundred thousand euros if their contractors abroad are found to breach human rights or environmental rules. The fines go up to two percent of the company's annual revenues if they exceed 400 million euros ($484 million). The companies are held responsible for every step of the way: from the raw materials to the finished product. "This law protects workers from exploitation across sprawling supply chains and protects human rights across the world," Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday, adding "In future, it will be clear that 'Made in Germany' also means respect for human rights." The SPD-run development and labor ministries initially wanted the law to also target smaller companies, but backed down in the face of strong opposition from the … [Read more...] about Germany to implement supply chain law against exploitation