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Vunipola 'very likely' to be fit


Billy Vunipola

Billy Vunipola

Getty Images

Billy Vunipola

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 him off at half-time against Argentina 10 days ago.

Vunipola was set to miss the climax to Pool C against France last Saturday only for the game to be cancelled because of Super Typhoon Hagibis, and was also considered a doubt for the last-eight showdown.

Jones names his team to face the Wallabies on Thursday and Vunipola, the only player to have started all 12 of England's Tests this year, will be an automatic selection if fit.

"Billy is progressing really well," defence coach John Mitchell said. "He has trained again today 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."