England injury concerns

Mako Vunipola and Jack Nowell are not expected to be fit for England until the third or fourth pool games of the Rugby World Cup.

Loosehead Vunipola is still suffering with the hamstring he had surgery on at the end of last season while versatile back Nowell is yet to play a game since damaging ankle ligaments in the Premiership final on June 1.

It had been hoped Vunipola would be fit to face Tonga in England’s first match of the tournament on September 22.

Speaking after they beat Italy 37-0 in their final warm-up match in Newcastle, head coach Eddie Jones said: “He’s probably going to be right for the third or fourth game.

“He just had a little scar tissue which was impairing his movement, but that’s all been fixed. He’s progressing really well now.

“Jack Nowell is probably in the same category. They are important players for us so we are prepared to be patient with them.”

Jones said: “Joe Launchbury has a sore back and we don’t think that’s too serious, and Luke Cowan-Dickie took a knock to the knee but we don’t think that’s too serious either.”



Author: Grump

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