England wait on Billy Vunipola's fitness after ankle injury

Billy Vunipola had a tough year with injuries
Billy Vunipola had a tough year with injuries

England will have an anxious wait on number eight Billy Vunipola's fitness following his ankle injury in the recently concluded World Cup game against Argentina.

The 26-year-old, whose career has been plagued by injuries suffered the setback during the first half of the game and was replaced after the break by Lewis Ludlam.

With England already qualified for the quarter-finals, they are unlikely to risk the Saracens back-row for the game against France scheduled on Saturday with Mark Wilson in line to replace him.

Earlier, England assistant coach Neal Hatley expressed confidence in the depth of the squad and said they are expecting the outcome of Vunipola's injury assessment by Tuesday.

"If it's not right for him to play, then we have a squad of 31 and we have really good players in that position," said Hatley.

"Billy is getting looked at today and we will have a much clearer picture Tuesday."

Meanwhile, skipper Owen Farrell showed no signs of discomfort after being on the receiving end of dangerous tackles for the second consecutive game and is expected to lead the side against Jacques Brunel's men as they aim to seal the top spot in Pool C.

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