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Rugby-Injured Vunipola’s World Cup hopes handed boost

(Reuters) – Billy Vunipola’s hopes of an England recall ahead of the Rugby World Cup have been thrown a lifeline after Saracens’ Director of Rugby Mark McCall said the number eight is expected to recover from a knee injury in time for this year’s tournament.

Vunipola was carried off the pitch on a stretcher in the first half of Saracens’ Champions Cup quarter-final defeat at La Rochelle earlier this month, following which the Premiership leaders said that he would miss the rest of the domestic season.

Vunipola’s fine form for Saracens had put him in the frame for a return to the England squad for this year’s World Cup, which will be held in France from Sept. 8 to Oct. 28.

“Billy normally beats any time he is given with most of his injuries and it will be mid-July to early August as far as I understand it, if all goes well,” McCall told British media.

“Hopefully, that is time enough for him to be in contention for the World Cup.

“Billy always comes back strongly and there have been a number of times when he has been out for three or four months and he’s come back strongly and hopefully he will do that again.”

Vunipola has won 68 caps since his England debut in 2013 but last played in November’s loss to South Africa. He started every match for England at the 2019 World Cup, where they lost to South Africa in the final.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Disclaimer: This report is auto generated from the Reuters news service. ThePrint holds no responsibilty for its content.

Source: The Print

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