England prop Mako Vunipola ahead of schedule in recovery at Rugby World Cup

Mako Vunipola has given England a fitness center days ahead of his Rugby World Cup opener as he returned to live scrummaging ahead of schedule in his recovery from a hamstring strain.
Front-row ahead Vunipola along with winger Jack Nowell have been ruled out of England’s Pool C opener from Tonga at Sapporo on Sunday, but their participation in Wednesday’s training session, along with injury doubts Mark Wilson and Joe Cokanasiga, guaranteed all 31 members of Eddie Jones’ group were busy.
Regardless of Vunipola’s advancement, scrum coach Neal Hatley cautioned that England’s assurance in their group thickness means they will probably not rush the Saracens loosehead back until their pool game.
“We have had a great day,” Hatley said. “Everyone’s trained. Mark Wilson’s educated, Joe Cokanasiga’s trained, Mako’s done scrums, Jack Nowell’s been flying down the side of the pitch, therefore happy with how folks are arriving on and where people are.
“With the short turnaround, we will see where we get to with him (Vunipola). We have got obviously Joe (Marler) and Ellis (Genge), two excellent looseheads, so we’re not going to drive Mak, but it is brilliant where he is, we did not think he would do live scrums now.
“So it’s testament the job the medical team’s done and how hard Mak’s worked that he’s back in a position to perform reside scrums early.”
Vunipola underwent surgery after injuring his hamstring in Saracens’ Heineken Cup final victory in May, last month prior to enduring a re-occurrence of the problem at England’s warm-up victory over Ireland.

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