England rate Billy Vunipola as “very likely” to be available for Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final against Australia at Oita Stadium.

In a major lift to Eddie Jones’ men, the powerful Saracens No 8 is on course to recover from the ankle injury that forced

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Joe Marler says England must use their cancelled match against France as a positive when they face Australia in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals

Joe Marler says England must use their cancelled match against France as a positive when they face Australia in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals

“Billy is progressing really well,” defence coach John Mitchell said.

“He has trained again today (Tuesday) and we are very confident in his progression each day. He’s very likely [to be available].

“Billy is a very important player to us and a very likeable player as well. He fits well within the team.

“He loves the ball in his hand. He is very good at regaining and retaining momentum. He likes carrying the ball which is where he has his greatest influence.”

Jack Nowell is expected to miss the match against Australia with a hamstring injury Jack Nowell is expected to miss the match against Australia with a hamstring injury Jack Nowell is expected to miss the match against Australia with a hamstring injury

While the update over Vunipola has been positive, it appears increasingly unlikely that wing Jack Nowell will play any part in the quarter-final.