England hopeful over forwards Chessum and Vunipola


England forward Ollie Chessum is winning his fitness battle ahead of the Rugby World Cup and “looking really good” as he steps up training following an ankle injury, attack coach Richard Wigglesworth said on Tuesday.

Chessum, who can play lock or flanker, was a major doubt for the tournament in France after being ruled out for about six months in March.

The 22-year-old will not play against Wales in a World Cup warm-up fixture on Saturday but has put himself in contention for a spot in head coach Steve Borthwick’s 33-man squad for the global finals that will be announced on Monday.

“Ollie’s close to a return. He’s done incredibly well and has been so diligent with his rehab. He looks really good,” Wigglesworth said of the player who was a stand-out in this year’s Six Nations before his injury.

“He’s a top-quality player who we are keen to get fit. The medics said that if he’s free of complications then there’s a very good chance of him being ready for the World Cup.”

Wigglesworth added that number eight Billy Vunipola is also on the right path after knee surgery.

“Billy looks highly motivated and he’s had a big impact in training, coming back in straight away,” he said. “He’s shown his class and his form. His training is slightly modified but not by much.”

Borthwick is scheduled to name his team on Thursday to play Wales.


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