England set for Vunipola return boost
Prop Mako Vunipola is set to return from a three-month injury absence in time to feature in England's Test against Ireland on Saturday.
There were doubts over the Saracens' star's availability for the World Cup, which gets underway in Japan next month, when he picked up a hamstring problem in his club side's Champions Cup Final victory against Leinster in May.
Vunipola was ruled out for three months at the time and that estimate has proven to be accurate as he is now set to play for Eddie Jones' side in their penultimate World Cup warm-up Test match against the Irish at Twickenham this weekend.
He is unlikely to play the full game, but Jones will no doubt be keen to get some minutes into him and hope he comes through the outing unscathed.
Meanwhile, Sam Underhill could play against Ireland as he has made good progress from an ankle injury, but his Bath Rugby team-mate Ruaridh McConnochie remains a doubt with a hip problem as he tries to win his first cap.
Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.