England delay team over injured trio

2016-11-17 19:47
Billy Vunipola (Getty Images)

Bagshot - England have delayed announcing their team to play Fiji until Friday in a bid to give the injured trio of Elliot Daly, Billy Vunipola and Nathan Hughes more time to prove their fitness.

Midfielder Daly has a chest area injury, No 8 Vunipola has upper body soreness and back-row Hughes is trying to overcome a lower leg injury.

England, who opened their end of year campaign with a 37-21 win over South Africa at Twickenham last weekend, were due to name their side to face Fiji on Thursday.

But coach Eddie Jones, speaking to reporters at England's training base in Bagshot, southwest of London, on Thursday, said: "There are a few injury concerns which we're sorting through at the moment. We're announcing the team on Friday."

Traditionally in international rugby union, teams are named 48 hours before kick-off but England's delay did not contravene any regulations.

"This delay is a deviation from our normal procedure but is in line with the regulations for team announcements," Jones said.

"Billy and Nathan are still carrying knocks from the previous game. Elliot Daly is also carrying a knock from the previous game and we're looking to see how they resolve themselves over the next 24 hours before making a final decision."

The Australian, who has won all 10 games as England boss since taking over after last year's World Cup, added: "It's ongoing, sometimes these things take a good turn and sometimes they take a bad turn.

"You get more information or less information, good information or bad information. We're processing all that."

Fiji, who won gold at the inaugural Olympic Rugby Sevens in Rio earlier this year, are renowned for their free-flowing style.

"You can't join the party," said Jones.

"They want to have a kava party. We don't want to have a kava party, we want to eat fish and chips, so we will be making sure we eat fish and chips on Saturday.

"You just don't want to open the game up too much. You go anywhere in Fiji...We've got to play a very structured, controlled, positive game."

Read more on:    england  |  billy vunipola  |  rugby


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