England receive Maro Itoje fitness boost ahead of autumn internationals

Maro Itoje has been named in England's autumn international squad
Maro Itoje has been named in England's autumn international squad

England have received a much-needed boost ahead of their autumn international campaign with Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall declaring Maro Itoje fit.

The 26-year-old, who was one of the try-scorer in Saracens' massive 71-17 win over Bath Rugby last weekend sustained a 'minor shoulder injury during the encounter adding to the woes of England coach Eddie Jones, who already lost the services of Anthony Watson and Luke Cowan-Dickie to injuries.

Nevertheless, McCall said the injury is not serious and the 26-year-old should be available for the upcoming clash against Wasps.

"He's fine," said Saracens boss Mark McCall. "It's a very minor shoulder injury but he will play this weekend."

Earlier, Jones recalled Saracens hooker Jamie George, who was initially omitted from the squad as a replacement for Cowan-Dickie but his Saracens team-mates Mako and Billy Vunipola will be hoping to make a return to the national side.

Speaking after the comprehensive win over Bath, McCall said he is still expecting the Vunipola brothers to play a big role for England with the World Cup scheduled in 2023.

"They are playing really well and they've still got the bit between their teeth," said McCall.

"There's still a hope for them that they can make their way back into the England squad and they want to try to do that, try to get back into the Six Nations. They've got to continue their good form.

"They are unbelievably competitive rugby players and I think they've proven that for a long time, not only at the highest club level but at international level as well.

"I think that anybody who saw their performance at the weekend - and in Billy's case the weekends before that - would know that Billy's somewhere near the best he's played.

"I think that's really encouraging that Billy's had a full pre-season for the first time in a long time and is in the best shape he has been for a long time. He's enjoying his rugby, playing really well and I think Sunday was one of his best games for a long time.

"Mako had a hugely influential game, so for the two of them I can say all you want me to say, but actions speak louder than words and I think they demonstrated on Sunday first of all how good they are and also how much it means to play at the highest level and push themselves hard."