England have been given a huge boost ahead of the Six Nations, with two of their key players returning to action this weekend.
Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola will return for the Saracens this weekend ahead of Sunday’s game with Harlequins – and the news will come as a massive relief to England manager Eddie Jones, as both were considered serious doubts for their tournament opener against Italy in Rome on February 4th.
Itoje had been ruled out for an indefinite period, having suffered a broken jaw in Saracens’ defeat to Harlequins in early December – but he will now return to action, hoping to replicate the stunning form he produced on the Lions’ tour of New Zealand during the summer.
Vunipola missed the Lions tour during the summer, and has not played for England since March following a shoulder injury – then a knee injury in September which kept him sidelined up until now.
The news of his return could not come a better time for England, with his replacement at number eight – Nathan Hughes, having recently suffered a similar injury which looks set to keep him out of action for quite some time.
Saracens will be looking to improve on both their European and domestic form as of late – with the Sarries having lost 4 games in the Aviva Premiership so far this campaign, and trailing Exeter by 10 points. The return of Itoje and Vunipola will certainly do their efforts no harm.
Should the duo avoid any more injuries – it seems likely that both will take to the field in Rome in February as England begin their bid to make it three titles in a row. With these two in the forwards, Eddie Jones’ side are even more of a force to be reckoned with.
Jordan Norris, Pundit Arena.