Month: July 2019
The disability benefit assessment system is being undermined by a “pervasive culture of mistrust”, fuelled by widespread claims that assessors are deliberately trying to prevent disabled people receiving the support they are entitled to, according to a committee of MPs.The long-awaited report by the Commons work and pensions committee describes how many claimants of personal independence payment (PIP) and employment and support allowance (ESA) have reported dishonesty by the healthcare professionals who have carried out their face-to-face assessments.The report says the culture of mistrust this has produced means that assessors “risk being viewed as, at best lacking in competence and at worst, actively deceitful”.The committee’s report substantiates evidence provided by hundreds of disabled people who have contacted Disability News Service (DNS) over the last 15 months to describe the dishonesty of the healthcare professionals who assessed them.A separate report published earlier in the week includes examples from the “unprecedented” response from claimants who had submitted evidence to the committee, with nearly 4,000 submissions.The committee says this response was “remarkable” in the “consistency of the themes that emerged”, including claims that assessment reports “bore little or no relation to their circumstances or what had occurred during the assessment”.Claimants, said the committee, “do not believe assessors can be trusted to record what took place during the assessment accurately”.One example quoted by the committee comes from Mary, a PIP claimant who first told her story last year to DNS (she was named ‘Elizabeth’ by DNS).She told the committee how the assessor wrote in her report that she “arose from the chair without any difficulty” when in fact she “was in bed the whole time (she let herself in) and I only have the one chair in the room and she was sitting in it”.Another who submitted evidence said: “I did most of the talking as my partner was drowsy with his medication, but in the statement with the PIP decision [it said that] my partner was chatty. Completely untrue.”A third claimant told the committee: “I was attacked with a deadly weapon only a short time before my assessment. “The man threatened my life, on a walk with my dog. So the assessor wrote that I like to talk to people on my walk.”A fourth claimant said: “The assessor claimed in the report to have completed an extensive examination of me during the assessment.“She listed a breakdown of her observations regarding the movement of all my limbs and joints.“In reality though my assessment was only fifteen minutes long and the assessor didn’t examine me at all.”The committee calls in its report for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to improve trust in the system by offering the opportunity for all face-to-face assessments to be audio recorded, and by providing a copy of the written assessment report to all claimants.The evidence provided to DNS helped persuade the committee last year to investigate what Frank Field, the committee’s chair, described as “concerning reports about the operation of the PIP assessment process”.He later said that DNS had “provided us with a useful series of case studies that acted as a further catalyst” for calling an emergency evidence session last March, which subsequently led to the launch of the inquiry.The committee had appeared last year to be trying to avoid discussing allegations of dishonesty that had been raised by DNS, refusing to ask welfare rights experts about such claims in the urgent evidence session, and then neglecting to raise the issue of dishonesty in a letter seeking further evidence about the PIP assessment process.But the sheer weight of the allegations submitted by PIP claimants appears to have convinced the committee that these claims were valid, even if there was no explicit statement in this week’s report that the MPs believed there was dishonesty in the assessment process.Despite the role played by DNS in persuading the committee to investigate the PIP assessment process, neither Field, nor Heidi Allen, the senior Conservative member of the committee – the two MPs who were said to be available for interviews – agreed to talk to DNS this week.A spokeswoman for the committee declined to say if the refusal to be interviewed was connected with DNS reports that have criticised Field and his colleagues.Those reports questioned why they failed to ask the minister for disabled people about figures suggesting attempted suicides among people claiming out-of-work disability benefits may have doubled between 2007 and 2014, following the introduction of the work capability assessment, which tests eligibility for ESA.In response to the committee’s report, a DWP spokeswoman said: “As the [committee] highlights, assessments work for the majority of people, with 83 per cent of ESA claimants and 76 per cent of PIP claimants telling us that they’re happy with their overall experience.“However, our aim has to be that every person feels they are treated fairly, with respect and dignity.“We are committed to continuously improving the experience of our claimants; that is why we’ve commissioned five independent reviews of the work capability assessment – accepting over 100 recommendations – and two independent reviews of PIP assessments.“We continue to work closely with our providers to ensure people receive high quality assessments, and are exploring options around recordings to promote greater transparency and trust.”
Tags:Labour /Liveblog /Vote /Jeremy Corbyn /Brexit /Brexit amendments / Tonight, from 7pm, the House of Commons will debate and vote on the government’s Brexit motion – and, more crucially, on seven amendments.These amendments, selected earlier today by Speaker Bercow, will each be either dismissed or approved by MPs (unless withdrawn) before the main motion is considered.The backbench proposals represent a wide range of opinion on the best outcome of the Brexit process, ranging from Article 50 extension to dropping the backstop in favour of “alternative arrangements”.Although the Labour frontbench is backing five of the seven amendments, it is unclear how many will pass. Even the government and DUP-endorsed amendment could struggle. Cooper, b), and Brady, n), are the key ones to look out for tonight.
0% Tags: alex nieto Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% The suit by Williams, then 20 years old, alleged wrongful detention and excessive force, while the city alleged that Williams had bitten one of the officers during the arrest, according to Lacy. He said that this was false, but that “none of that justifies the officers grabbing him and throwing him out of his house and beating him beforehand.”The incident occurred on November 15th, 2013 — a Friday afternoon when Williams was returning from attending the “Batkid” events downtown. He was riding his bicycle on the sidewalk in front of Valencia Gardens when plainclothes officers confronted him near his front door.The officers told him to stop. William’s sister Christina told Mission Local at the time that Williams went into her apartment with the bike and that officers then “yanked” and “dragged” him out of the house before “slamm[ing] him to the ground.”Police spokesperson Officer Gordon Shyy said at the time that the plainclothes officers identified themselves to Williams and tried to stop and cite the young man for the traffic violation, at which point he ignored their commands and continued to a Valencia Gardens apartment. Shyy described Williams as resistant and combative.He was arrested for resisting arrest, assault, and riding his bike on the sidewalk, but was released the following Tuesday with all charges dropped.During the arrest, residents of Valencia Gardens encircled the police and “formed a hostile crowd,” according to Shyy. Police then called for backup and a melee broke out between officers and those present, resulting in four arrests and injuries to two men as well as two police officers.Williams was represented by the Law Offices of John Burris, the same firm that representing the family of Alex Nieto after his slaying by police officers in 2014.Lacy, Williams’s lawyer, added today that the $20,000 settlement covered legal fees and that he would have gone to trial but Williams was “satisfied” with the settlement offered to him.“I’m happy when my clients are happy,” he said. “I am a very veracious advocate for my clients, and I would have been happy to take this matter to trial.” San Francisco has agreed to pay $20,000 to the 21-year-old student who sued the city late last year after being allegedly beaten by three plainclothes police officers in 2013 for riding his bike on the sidewalk. Video of the event went viral on the internet at the time and sparked protests against police brutality.“The settlement was for $20,000,” said Andrea Guzman, a spokesperson for the city attorney’s office. “The only thing I can add was we were able to settle before either side incurred significant legal expenses.”DeWitt Lacy, the attorney representing D’Paris “DJ” Williams in his lawsuit against the city, said the settlement was made “sometime in June” and that the city paid for medical bills in addition to the $20,000 settlement.“A lot of it is medical costs we’re taking care of, so the $20,000 figure is misleading,” Lacy said. “He had a pretty substantial medical bill from not only the ambulance that took him to the hospital but also the treatment he received, and that was all taken care of by city.”
Four activists arrived at the Mission Police Station Thursday morning to begin a hunger strike to protest police shootings. They came with a class of preschoolers in tow, leading them in a chant of “Queremos paz,” or, “We want peace”.Organizer Maria Cristina Gutierrez said she brought the children to show officers who she wants to protect from future run-ins with police. Gutierrez, 66, is the executive director of Compañeros del Barrio preschool on 16th and Valencia. Gutierrez, her son Ilyich Sato, also known as the rapper Equipto, Edwin Lindo, currently a candidate for District 9 supervisor, and Ike Pinkston, a preschool teacher at Compañeros del Barrio, officially began their hunger strike on Thursday, though some have not eaten since Wednesday.Each of the hunger strikers said they would hold on for as long as they could – ideally until they achieve their goal of unseating Police Chief Greg Suhr. Tags: Mission Police Station • SFPD Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0% Gutierrez said she could not fathom justifications for the deaths of San Francisco residents Alex Nieto, Amilcar Perez Lopez, Mario Woods, and most recently, Luis Gongora. All were shot and killed by officers.Hunger strikers in front of the Mission Police Station Photo by Lola M. Chavez“It can not go on like this. They cannot be murdering people like it’s nothing,” she said. “So I said, I’m ready to do everything I can, something to soften the hearts.”Pinkston, in tears, said he worries about his own children being targeted by police officers due to their race. He dismissed the health risk of the hunger strike as trivial compared with the health risk of encountering police.“My children are 10 and 8 and I’m thinking, am I even going to see my kids grow up to be 18?” he said. “I know I’m crying, but that’s just how much it is paining me…I’ll stay out here for as long as it takes.”Sato, Gutierrez’ son, attributed the whole idea to his mother. Gutierrez said she has participated in one hunger strike previously, a human rights protest in her native Colombia. She has lived in San Francisco for some 40 years. “I knew that something radical needed to be done,” Gutierrez said. “We march, we go to meetings, they don’t care. They keep on going like nothing.”Edwin Lindo. Photo by Lola M. ChavezHer son, Sato, balances his rap career with his time teaching at Gutierrez’ preschool. “We’ll be sitting here because this is no joke, this is not some publicity stunt,” Sato said. He asked that others support the hunger strikers’ cause by going to City Hall to protest. For the next few days or perhaps weeks, none of the four will go to work or eat, instead posting themselves outside of Mission Station until they get a reaction. If arrested, they said, they will continue their hunger strike in jail.“The reason I ran is to raise issues that have always been swept under the rug,” Lindo, the candidate for supervisor, said.He, too, said he sensed that other methods of protest were not having any effect.“Protests don’t work, letters don’t work, so I guess we’ll put our own blood in their hands,” he said.Lindo said his focus is on the chief and not the police commission, officially the authority to which Suhr answers, because it seems to him that Suhr calls the shots.“They haven’t done a very good job either…but to us, they follow [Suhr’s] lead,” he said. “Suhr has a lot of dirt on his hands – text messages, lawsuits, being the highest paid police chief in the country, and four executions of people of color.”Given the chance to speak with police officers, Gutierrez said, she would encourage them to join her cause.“If they really believe that the police department is here to protect us, they should be against these officers that made the text messages, and ask for the chief to be fired,” she said. “They have a very important job, to protect people. But they’re not doing it. They can take a stand themselves.”Ilych “Equipto” Sato seated in front of Mission Police Station after beginning his hunger strike against police use of force. Photo by Lola M. ChavezHomeless Press ConferenceHours later and across the street, some 70 people gathered at Clarion Alley to hear from homeless and formerly homeless speakers who decried the recent shooting of Gongora, who lived in an encampment on Shotwell Street.“When I heard about this shooting, it broke my heart,” said Shira Noel, who works at the Homeless Youth Alliance and was homeless when she was young. “It brought back so many memories of police brutality, of just trying to survive.”Mary Howe, the executive director and co-founder of the Homeless Youth Alliance, called on housed allies to film police interactions with the homeless and “be a witness” to any brutality they see.“Never allow what happened to Luis to continue happening,” she said. “Exert your privilege and do the right thing.”Chief Suhr faced a contentious town hall meeting in the wake of the April 7 shooting, where speakers called for his resignation and pushed for use-of-force reform within the department.Immediately after the shooting, Mayor Ed Lee pledged to crack down on homeless encampments city-wide. In the days after Gongora’s shooting, city workers and police officers visited the Shotwell Street encampment where he lived and moved some residents to shelters while destroying other residents’ tents.Eyewitnesses to the shooting said they were being harassed by the police for what they had seen.At Thursday’s press conference, Noel addressed the crackdown on encampments and condemned the atmosphere surrounding homelessness in San Francisco.“The sweeps are not okay, the killings are not okay, and the destruction of property is not okay,” she said.The protest in Clairon Alley. Truly I Tell you. Photo by a contributor.
Tags: warriors Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Pre-Game: 16th Street.The buzz.What else would you call it when the sun comes at you brighter than ten thousand klieg lights? When instead of cash, you exchange fist bumps and “Go Dubs” with your favorite panhandler? When the neighbors start trucking in provisions at 9 in the morning for their party tonight.“A little early to celebrate,” I say. 0% “It’s all day,” she says.“Aren’t you afraid you might jinx them?” I ask.“Who?” She looks at me like I come from Mars. Worse. I come from Cleveland.Thought Experiment. Is participation, at the fan level, purely subjective? Can our actions, what we say, even what we think, affect the outcome of a mass sports entertainment spectacle occurring on the other side of the Bay? If we’re all connected, interwoven, why not? If the flap of a butterfly’s wing in Beijing can cause a hurricane in New York, then who knows?For example, T, who back in the day bought weed on the ramps inside Oracle, subscribes to a ritual meal:Spanish tortilla with a tomato frisée salad dressed in olive oil and pomegranate balsamic, washed down with a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.It worked until Game 4.“Maybe I should have had seconds,” he texted during the first quarter onslaught.The talk on the blogs continues to rage at the NBA for one of the worst officiating performances in memory.“They took away our brooms.”“Don’t be fooled. Sure the refs made lousy calls against the Cavs, but not all lousy calls are equal. Timing is everything, whether you’re playing a game or fixing it. Half of all fouls called against the Dubs were in the first quarter which put them on their heels the rest of the game.”Where to go? I began Game 4 at Clooney’s Pub which I found surprisingly laid back. The Dovre Club was better, but not much. It felt like the Dubs looked – half asleep.Which played right into the Cavs’ hands. Can’t make that mistake again.First Quarter: Giordano’sOK, it’s not like last night when the bar overflowed with Penguin fans, but it’s crowded, active, awake – and loud. My heart is pounding. I hope that helps the Dubs; probably not going to help me.Since the end of Game 4, the consensus is “the Dubs will take care of business in Game 5.” Well, business is booming! No doubt you saw the reports of a pair of court side tickets bought for $90,000. Who’s coming? The Saudi King and his Great Orb?The First Quarter does not start out well for the Dubs. Take that back. It started well, with Draymond Green hitting a 3, which is always good news. The bad news? Turnovers.Like in egregious Steph Curry turnovers. And he’s rushing his shots. Yeah, we get it Steph. You got a lot to prove and tonight is the night to make that happen. But it’s not going to happen if you don’t calm down.He does. And then there’s KD, of course, KD, gliding down the lane, or pulling up behind the line, one of the most graceful athletes in professional sports. And more impressive given the beating he takes every night.But the Dubs defense. I thought the Dubs were going to come out playing lights-out defense. Instead, their light is off. After scraping and fumbling, they manage to take a one point lead with 37 seconds left. But two long shots, and one Steph Curry turnover, give the Cavs 37 points and a 4 point lead.Second Quarter: San PanchoEvery where you look, blue and yellow; yellow and blue. If I didn’t know the Dubs had played an ambiguous quarter, from the energy in San Pancho, I would have assumed they were winning by a ton.The Dubs begin the quarter with a turnover – a bad pass from KD. The Cavs score the first 6 while the Dubs don’t score until 2 minutes have gone by.Then it changes.The Dubs start getting stops. The Dubs start getting steals. The Dubs start playing Insane Defense.Steph starts hitting shots. KD keeps hitting shots.Over the next 7 minutes, led by backup center David West, the Dubs outscore the Cavs 28-4. And the fans packed together in San Pancho ROAR. Waves of “WARRIORS” bounce around the concrete walls.This should be the game. But it’s not.I used to live above San Pancho when it was another restaurant. One night, the jilted lover of the restaurant’s owner decided he would get even by blowing up the restaurant. This is the first time I’ve been back since that night. Talk about superstition.In the final 40 seconds of the half, J.R. Smith hits two 3s and LeBron makes a layup.What a letdown. Cleveland is still alive.Halftime: The Neighbors’ PartyTurns out to be a party after a day of work. For relief??? My stomach’s still in a knot and I only started working an hour ago.Thank god, the the food is good. But will the Dubs win if I indulge?What’s T. eating?“The same. I’ve made simple adjustments: a pinch more salt, a hint of rosemary, but despite Game 4, I’m not deviating from what’s gotten us through the playoffs.”And yes, he will have seconds tonight.Third Quarter: The Five Hundred ClubWe’re all raucous when the Third Quarter starts off with a Klay Thompson 3. The Third Quarter is the Dubs’ Quarter, right? Now the Dubs will put the Cavs away.Nope. After 6 minutes, the Cavs have cut the Dubs lead to 5.It’s the missed shots, the fouls, the fights, the turnovers, the f . . . ing anxiety! And the defense. What happened to that mad mental Second Quarter defense?The bright spot? Rookie Patrick McCaw. He’s come in and played excellent defense and scored a couple hoops down the stretch. Without him the Dubs would be in real trouble. As it is, they play the Cavs even for the rest of the quarter.It’s anybody’s game.Fourth Quarter: Delirium and Pork Store“OK Dubs, time to take care of business,” shouts a woman at the television screen.Behind the noise inside Delirium, the tension is thick. Outside a few fans pass around a plant of pure indica to relieve the stress.It doesn’t work.What does work is KD. He opens up the quarter with 3 points. Less than two minutes later he hits a 3 point shot to give the Dubs an 8 point lead.And Steph Curry. After his sloppy First Quarter, Curry has excelled all over the court, especially on defense, but also rebounding. Repeatedly he’s slips through a thicket of Cavs’ arms and legs to the hoop for a score.And Klay Thompson defending LeBron and Kyrie. And Andre Iguodala playing his heart out.Now the Cavs’ defense begins to fall apart. They don’t set up fast enough after they miss a shot and they don’t talk to each other, so the Dubs find an open dunk time and again to push the lead to 10.Five minutes left. An eternity. But the Dubs lead by 12 on another KD jump shot and a “Warriors” cheer begins rocking the Pork Store, led by a woman dancing on a table. The guy next to me is feeling it. His girlfriend pours beer on him (and me).You can hear the cheers on 16th street, but nobody leaves the bars. Not yet.Then the final buzzer.Can I say it? Or will it jinx next year?RelatedFans Celebrate with bonfire in the streetCavs throw Dubs to the dogsDubs smash and grab Game 3Cavs rock, Dubs roll in game twoDub’s defense steals game one. NBA finals: a guide for the perplexed.Where to watch the gamesThe Mission awaits the finals.
0% In the wee hours of Aug. 15, 2017, Abel Esquivel attempted to stagger the last block to the Mission flat he shared with his mother after being waylaid and shot in a botched robbery attempt. He never made it. Esquivel, a 23-year-old Mission lifer who’d overcome hardships and obstacles to put himself on a trajectory for a meaningful life, died that morning. Three men were arrested for his shooting — with a gun stolen from a San Francisco police officer’s car. This morning, Esquivel’s mother, Mayra Perez, filed an administrative claim, a necessary precursor to bringing suit against the city, naming San Francisco, the SFPD and Officer Marvin Cabuntala. “Abel lived with Ms. Perez, and they had a very close relationship. He helped support her,” said Alison Cordova, an attorney for the family. “There was, obviously, a shooter. That person has some responsibility. But, at the end of the day, that person never would have been able to kill someone if he hadn’t been given access to a lethal, loaded weapon. Law enforcement, in San Francisco and generally across the country, are failing to take adequate measures to store and secure lethal weapons.” Esquivel was allegedly killed by undocumented gunmen on the short list for deportation, wielding a gun filched from a law-enforcement officer’s vehicle. His demise drew immediate comparisons to the 2015 shooting of Kathryn Steinle on Pier 14 — and, as in that case, litigation against the city appears imminent. Cordova is taking aim at San Francisco via Cabuntala. She believes the veteran cop’s failure to secure his firearm in his car may be tied to his employment as a city police officer. “It has been widely reported that the San Francisco Police Department is investigating Cabuntala’s failure to secure his firearm, implying the handgun and/or vehicle is related to or somehow connected to Cabuntala’s employment with the San Francisco Police Department,” reads her brief. According to statements from Police Officers Association president Marty Halloran, Cabuntala did not realize that his .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, speed loader, jacket, and holster had been purloined from his car until the alleged thieves committed a bevy of hold-ups with them and allegedly murdered Esquivel days later. This strikes Cordova as odd. “It is also highly suspicious that Cabuntala, a highly decorated police veteran, did not notice the numerous missing items from his vehicle within the approximate one week’s time that the items were missing,” reads today’s filing.This was just one of a rash of shootings — local and national — committed with a stolen law-enforcement firearm. If you’re wondering if there are laws regarding this — yes, there are. State law forbids cavalier storage of guns and even has a specific subsection mandating “a peace officer and an honorably retired police officer shall, when leaving a handgun in an unattended vehicle, secure the handgun in the vehicle,” according to the dictates of the law. Locally, then-Supervisor David Campos in 2016 pushed through tighter rules regarding storing guns in cars; following Esquivel’s death, he said this was the exact situation he was trying to prevent. While the scenario of Esquivel’s shooting was eerily similar to that of Steinle, a national furor did not commence after the death of a Nicaraguan American at the hands of undocumented Latino felons as it did following the death of a beautiful blonde woman from the suburbs at the hands of an undocumented Latino felon. As Mission Local wrote last year, “maybe it’s complicated. But maybe it’s not.” Cordova, however, says it’s wrong to use Esquivel as a talking point in discussions about sanctuary policies or anything else. “I don’t think Abel’s death is about ICE detainer requests or immigration,” she said. “That’s not really honoring Abel’s memory. If people knew him, they knew he was actively volunteering and providing support to immigrant communities in San Francisco. His own mother was an immigrant. This was near and dear to his heart.” Tags: police • SFPD Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%
Tags: dolores park Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Singing about the fires plaguing apartment buildings in the district, Max Johnson was reminiscing about all the changes in the Mission during the 18 years he’s spent in San Francisco. He called the song “Suspicion in the Mission.” Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.Jill Vincik and her daughter Summer were visiting San Francisco while visiting friends. They are originally from Half Moon Bay but now live in Bend, Oregon. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.Christine Reynolds and her dog Honey moved to San Francisco three years ago from the southwest. They were enjoying a day off by playing catch. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez. 0% Tyler Jones was enjoying his day off at Dolores Park on Friday by playing hacky sack. Jones has been living in the Mission district for three years and is originally from the East Bay. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.Thomas Tran was busy selling photos from his mid-1970s vintage Polaroid camera at the park Friday. He came from Seattle to explore San Francisco’s art photography scene. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.“I bought it on a deal for $40 at a shop in Chinatown,” Techa Nestor said. Originally from Merced, California, Nestor was enjoying the high winds at the northeast edge of Dolores Park with a brand-new kite he had purchased. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.Or Barniv, a Sunnyvale resident, was meeting her coworkers for the first time on Friday as their company organized a national meet-up in San Francisco. She was buying a coconut drink from a Dolores Park local named “Coco Loco.” Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.
ROYCE Simmons paid tribute to a “courageous effort” as Saints came from 16-0 down to draw with Wigan Warriors on Saturday.Tries from Jon Wilkin, Tony Puletua and Francis Meli gave his side a share of the spoils in their first hit out of the new season.“We showed a lot of determination in those dying stages but we didn’t play too smart either,” Simmons said. “We didn’t get the right field position and missed a lot of opportunities. In fact at times I was unsure what particular plan we were playing to!“But we hung on in there. Before the game we had to make a few changes. Gary Wheeler has been training in pre-season in the centres and Kyle hasn’t had a lot of time on the training pitch. Lee Gaskell and Leon Pryce have had the time on the field but both are injured.“Kyle had 80 mins and will get better from this run out. We didn’t break down in courageous area though and that is a good sign.”He continued: “We were held up over line in first half on a number of occasions on that was playing on the boys’ confidence a little bit. At half-time I just asked them to play things a little simpler and play off our hookers more. That’s what we did and it probably jagged us a point.“James Roby was fantastic and kept us going and I thought Scott Moore was good too.”Both sides had opportunities to win it at the end as Sam Tomkins was wide with a drop-goal effort has was Saints’ Kyle Eastmond.Royce though, was pleased with a point.“Their defence was fantastic but our attack wasn’t what it should have been.“I was happy with the point and we’ll build from there.”
FOLLOWING a number of player withdrawals, Exiles coach Daniel Anderson has today named a revised 17-man squad, including new addition Epalahame Lauaki of Wigan Warriors, for the match against England at Langtree Park on Saturday June 16 (6.45pm).Brett Finch and George Carmont of Wigan Warriors, Lopini Paea and Louis Anderson of Catalan Dragons plus Warrington Wolves’ Michael Monaghan and Luke O’Donnell of Huddersfield Giants have been withdrawn from the squad due to injury.Commenting on the revised squad, Exiles assistant coach Mike Rush said: “You’re always going to get this, I’m sure England are in the same predicament.“Players are always going to get bumps and bruises on the weekend leading up to a training camp. We haven’t got time to see how all those bumps and bruises will settle down, we need to get straight into it now.“The 17 players we’ve got in camp now are really looking forward to it and are really up for it. This will hopefully give Steve Mac’s lads the run-out that they need and it’ll be a fantastic fixture for all the players preparing for the World Cup next year”.Rush added that the Exiles have no intention of making it easy for England: “That’s not our job, our job is to make it as hard as possible and get a win,” he said.“Both teams of course want to win this series but only one of them can. The size of the pack that we’ve got here and the athleticism of these players makes it an exciting prospect.”He also agreed that the addition of Epalahame Lauaki from Wigan is a bonus in terms of power: “Lauaki is another big man. We’re blessed with big men in the middle of the field but we have to use them in the right way.”Tickets for the opening fixture at Langtree Park, St Helens, on Saturday June 16 (6.45pm) cost from £18 (£9 concessions) for standing and £21 (£10 concessions) seating. They can be bought from the ticket office at Langtree Park or by logging on here.Exiles Squad:Anthony Laffranchi, Antonio Kaufusi, Brett Hodgson, Daryl Millard, David Faiumu, Epalahame Lauaki, Francis Meli, Jeff Lima, Joel Monaghan, Lance Hohaia, Scott Dureau, Setaimata Sa, Sia Soliola, Thomas Leuluai, Tony Puletua, Trent Waterhouse, Willie Manu.
SAINTS have named their 19-man squad for Friday’s First Utility Super League Round Twelve clash with Widnes Vikings.Mark Percival returns but Lance Hohaia misses out through injury.In a late change Mark Flanagan has also been replaced by Jon Wilkin.Keiron Cunningham will select his 17 from:2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 4. Josh Jones, 5. Adam Swift, 6. Travis Burns, 7. Luke Walsh, 8. Mose Masoe, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Alex Walmsley, 17. Mark Percival. 18. Luke Thompson, 19. Greg Richards, 25. Andre Savelio, 26. Lewis Charnock, 28. Jack Ashworth, 30. Matty Fleming.Denis Betts will choose his Widnes side from:1. Rhys Hanbury, 3. Cameron Phelps, 4. Stefan Marsh, 5. Patrick Ah Van, 6. Kevin Brown, 7. Joe Mellor, 8. Eamon O’Carroll, 9. Lloyd White, 10. Manase Manuokafoa, 11. Danny Galea, 14. Chris Dean, 15. Jack Owens, 16. Willie Isa, 23. Phil Joseph, 24. Macgraff Leuluai, 25. Alex Gerrard, 28. Matt Whitley, 33. Aaron Heremaia, 35. Gil Dudson.The game kicks off at 8pm and the referee will be Phil Bentham.For ticket details please click here.