The Independent

Sport news in brief


Saracens duo withdraw from England squad due to injury

Elliot Daly and Jamie George have both withdraw from England’s Six Nations squad due to injury. Steve Borthwick has called up Jamie Blamire and Ollie Lawrence as replacemen­ts ahead of the Six Nations opener against Scotland. Daly is contending with a hamstring injury, while George is ruled out due to concussion.

Courtney Lawes is a major doubt for the opener against Scotland on 4 February after incurring a calf injury during Northampto­n’s clash with La Rochelle on Saturday and undergoes a scan on Monday.

Luke Cowan-Dickie will also miss at least the start of the Six Nations because of an ankle injury as the options in the hooker position are dwindling.

“The game against Scotland is a week on Saturday so there is plenty of water to go under the bridge between now and then,” Borthwick said. “We’ve got a good squad and players who are desperate for the opportunit­y. Whenever there is a setback it opens up an opportunit­y for somebody else.

“Players have got to grab those opportunit­ies with both hands and not let go. You need a squad where players are competing for places. We’ve got to build greater depth. These opportunit­ies allow players to show they can be Test players.” PA

Saudi £16bn F1 takeover bid report prompts ‘caution’ from FIA

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem is “cautious” after reports emerged that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has submitted a £16bn takeover bid for Formula One’s commercial rights.

A report in Bloomberg over the weekend suggested that the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund – which has a majority stake in Newcastle United FC and is chaired by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman – has tabled an offer of more than $20bn (£16bn) to F1 owners Liberty Media for the rights of the sport.

While this was reportedly rejected, Ben Sulayem took to social media to publicise his views, insisting the alleged price tag was “inflated” and any potential buyer needs to “apply common sense... not just a lot of money”.

Yet Sky Sports are reporting that senior figures in Formula One – separate from the FIA, the sport’s governing body – are unimpresse­d that Ben Sulayem is speaking out on matters which

are not his direct remit. “As the custodians of motorsport, the FIA, as a non-profit organisati­on, is cautious about alleged inflated price tags of $20bn being put on F1,” Ben Sulayem tweeted.

Brady swears in response to question about his NFL retirement

Tom Brady reacted angrily after being asked about his NFL future, maintainin­g he is “taking it a day at a time”. The legendary quarterbac­k, whose hopes of winning another Super Bowl this season were dashed after the Dallas Cowboys eliminated his Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the wild card round of the play-offs, has numerous options on the table for the year ahead.

Brady, now 45 years of age, has been linked with other teams around the league, now that he is a free agent after his deal with Tampa Bay expired. While a lucrative television career awaits, having signed a deal with Fox reportedly worth $375m (£305m). But Brady is in no rush to retire again, snapping at one of his cohosts and broadcaste­r Jim Gray when discussing his decision on the show Let’s Go. “If I knew what I was going to fucking do, I would already have fucking done it, OK,” Brady exploded when asked. “I’m taking it a day at a time.”

Stokes, Anderson and Bairstow named in ICC 2022 Test team

Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and James Anderson have been included in the Internatio­nal Cricket Council men’s Test team of the year for 2022. Stokes was named as captain of the global XI in recognitio­n of the way he revitalise­d England’s flagging fortunes after replacing Joe Root as skipper in April.

Under Root England had won just one of their previous 17 Tests, but Stokes and new head coach Brendon McCullum ushered in a radically different style of attacking play to win nine out of their next 10. That led them to series wins over New Zealand, South Africa and Pakistan as well as a record-breaking victory against India.

Yorkshire batter Bairstow epitomised England’s bold approach as he hit a career-best run of form over the summer as he scored four centuries in five innings. The 33-year-old equalled the English record for six tons in a calendar year and looked certain to surpass it before a freak leg break saw him miss the last four games. Anderson, still thriving at the highest level at the age of 40, represents the bowling group. PA

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 ?? I (Action mages/Reuters) ?? Da l y is out of Eng l and’s squad with a hamstring prob l em
I (Action mages/Reuters) Da l y is out of Eng l and’s squad with a hamstring prob l em
 ?? ??

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