Friday 18 August 2017

Jones waits on injured trio

Eddie Jones, the England head coach looks on during the England training session held at Pennyhill Park in Bagshot, England. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images
Eddie Jones, the England head coach looks on during the England training session held at Pennyhill Park in Bagshot, England. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Nigel Whittaker

England have taken the highly unusual step of delaying their team announcement for tomorrow's clash with Fiji by 24 hours as they monitor the fitness of a trio of players.

In a break with established protocol, the starting XV and replacements bench will be named today on the eve of the second autumn international at Twickenham as Billy Vunipola, Nathan Hughes and Elliot Daly battle to prove their availability.

Mystery shrouds the nature of their ailments with England willing only to offer broad descriptions - Vunipola has 'upper body soreness', Hughes is struggling with a 'lower leg injury' and Daly has an 'upper body injury'.

However, Hughes and Daly were able to take an active role in training on yesterday's final session of the week.

Furthermore, Tom Wood has rejoined the squad to provide injury cover having been sent back to his club on Tuesday, although the Northampton captain is struggling with illness.

World Rugby has confirmed that England have not broken any regulations in the postponement, although from January a recently-ratified rule stating team announcements must be undertaken 48 hours before kick-off takes effect.

Irish Independent

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