|Six Nations: Wales v England|
|Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Saturday, 23 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT|
|Coverage: Live on BBC One, S4C, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.|
Second row Maro Itoje has been ruled out of England’s Six Nations match with Wales on Saturday because of his knee injury.
The 24-year-old Saracens lock sustained medial ligament damage during England’s 32-20 win over Ireland in Dublin.
It was always thought unlikely Itoje would be fit to face Wales and despite a quicker than expected recovery, he will not be available in Cardiff.
England top the table with 10 points, two ahead of Wales.
Itoje’s continued absence means Wasps’ Joe Launchbury is set to continue as a replacement, with Courtney Lawes of Northampton joining Saracens’ George Kruis in the second row for Eddie Jones’ starting team.
Victory against Warren Gatland’s side would make England strong favourites for the title with matches against Italy and Scotland to come.
England defence coach John Mitchell said on Monday that Itoje was “progressing really well”.
“We’re very encouraged by what we see,” he added.
But Saturday’s game at the Principality Stadium comes too soon for the Lions forward.
Listen, no one expects you to know everything about Captain Marvel going in.
It’s the first time this superherhoine has ever been on the big screen. It’s set in a period of the Marvel Cinematic Universe we haven’t really seen before (the 1990s), and features tons of new characters, races, and technologies never even alluded to in the other films.
Still, it never hurts to be prepared. And some of these people are ones you should be familiar with already. And don’t you want to be able to understand exactly what you’ve seen in all the marketing?
Here’s a spoiler-free guide to everyone you need to know in Captain Marvel.
Played by: Brie Larson
When we meet our heroine, she’s already part of an elite warrior squad called Starforce, fighting alongside the Kree – an alien race from the planet Hala. Then she returns to Earth, where she must rediscover her ordinary human past. It’s like “a classic Marvel origin story but told in reverse,” explains producer Jason Schwartz.
Though she has no memory of it, Captain Marvel, a.k.a. Carol Danvers, used to be an Air Force pilot. She seems to have gotten her powers after a near-death incident, and subsequent resuscitation by the Kree. And her forgotten history may hold the key to everything else happening in the movie.
Played by: Samuel L. Jackson
If you’ve seen the other Marvel movies, you’re probably already familiar with Nick Fury as the erstwhile director of S.H.I.E.L.D. But the Nick Fury we’ll see in this one is younger, greener, less jaded – a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who’s “riding the desk” until Captain Marvel crash-lands into his life, and reveals to him that there’s a whole big universe out there.
Played by: Jude Law
Mar-Vell is the leader of Starforce, and Captain Marvel’s mentor. How exactly their dynamic drives the story, though, is being kept under tight wraps. During our visit to the set, producer Jonathan Schwartz would say only that Mar-Vell is “really important” to Carol’s origin story.
Played by: Gemma Chan
Minn-Erva is another standout member of Starforce, a Kree sniper who’s got something of a “playful rivalry” with Captain Marvel. “Minn-Erva doesn’t quite trust Carol,” Chan teases, “[but] as a team, they’re very efficient and they get stuff done.”
Played by: Djimon Hounsou
We’ve seen this guy before, in the first Guardians of the Galaxy. Here, Korath is a high-ranking member of Starforce, but just as humorless and “machine-like,” as Hounsou puts it, as you remember.
Played by: Lee Pace
Another returning face from Guardians of the Galaxy, the younger Ronan of Captain Marvel is less of a radical zealot. He “has his own role to play in the Kree military that intersects with Starforce in an interesting way,” says Schwartz.
Played by: Ben Mendelsohn
Talos is a leader of the Skrulls, an alien race locked in bitter conflict with the Kree. The Skrulls also happen to be really good at shapeshifting, which comes in very handy for their efforts to invade Earth. For his part, Talos has infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. by impersonating a human so successfully that he’s actually Nick Fury’s boss(!).
Played by: Lashana Lynch
Carol’s BFF and fellow Air Force pilot (call sign: Photon) doesn’t know where Carol has disappeared to all these years, and Carol, in turn, can’t really remember Maria at first. Still, now that Carol is back, Maria remains loyal to their old bond, and she plays a huge role in helping Carol regain her past.
Maria also happens to be the mother of Monica Rambeau, about whom more below.
Played by: Akira Akbar
Monica is Maria’s brave 11-year-old daughter, who sees Carol as an aunt – or did, anyway, before Carol disappeared.
Though Maria’s role in all of this remains somewhat unclear, it’s worth noting that in the comics, Maria took up the Captain Marvel mantle before Carol did. Clearly, that’s not how the timeline is playing out in the Marvel Cinematic Universe… but it does seem possible Monica will have quite a lot to do going forward.
Played by: Clark Gregg
Long before he was killed by Loki in The Avengers and brought back to life in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Phil Coulson was just a fresh-faced S.H.I.E.L.D. rookie who could barely get Nick Fury to learn his name.
Played by: Reggie, Archie, Rizzo, and Gonzo
Named after the Top Gun character, Goose looks like just your ordinary housecat. But there’s strong reason to believe he’s actually an alien known as a Flerken. In the comics, Flerkens look like Earth felines but boast extra features (like tentacles inside their mouths) and special powers (like the ability to hop between dimensions).
Played by: Annette Bening
Marvel isn’t saying who Annette Bening is playing in Captain Marvel, but signs point to the Supreme Intelligence, which in the comics is an AI that rules the Kree. The character is confirmed to appear in the film, and Bening is seen in a recent trailer recounting how she made Carol Danvers “one of us,” i.e., one of the Kree. Plus, Bening totally has the gravitas to pull off an alien overlord.
Captain Marvel is in theaters March 8.
During a town hall on CNN on Monday, 2020 presidential candidate Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) stated that Medicare for all “could be a possibility in the future.”
Klobuchar stated, “I think it’s something that we can look to for the future, but I want to get action now. And I think the best way we do that is something that we actually wanted to do back when we were looking at the Affordable Care Act, and we were stopped, was trying to get a public option in there.”
Moderator Don Lemon then asked, “So, no Medicare for all?”
Klobuchar responded, “It could be a possibility in the future. I’m just looking at something that will work now.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett