Haskell handed fitness boost
England have received an encouraging fitness bulletin on flanker James Haskell ahead of next weekend's RBS 6 Nations opener against Wales at Twickenham.
The Stade Francais forward suffered a knee injury during his team's 9-7 Heineken Cup loss to Edinburgh last Saturday, but a scan has shown no structural damage and 22 times-capped Haskell will be reintroduced to light training in the next 36 hours.
The England squad is currently based in Portugal, although two players - Northampton wing Chris Ashton and Leicester scrum-half Ben Youngs - are returning home on Tuesday night.
Uncapped Ashton, the Guinness Premiership's leading try-scorer this season, will be available to play for Saints in their LV= Cup clash against Sale Sharks on Friday before rejoining the England squad in Surrey two days later.
Youngs, meanwhile, will link up with the England Saxons, who are currently preparing in Bath for Sunday's game against Ireland A.