McCall expects Vunipola to face Italy


Mark McCall expects Mako Vunipola to feature for England against Italy next Saturday after the prop made his comeback in Saracens' Premiership defeat at Gloucester on Friday.

Vunipola came through 70 minutes of the Premiership and European champions' 31-23 loss at Kingsholm following a two-month absence due to a knee injury.

The loosehead produced a typically powerful display and Sarries director of rugby McCall thinks he is ready to make an international return when England take on Italy in the Six Nations at Twickenham next Sunday.

McCall said of Vunipola's return: "We had an open mind as to how he was going to go.

"He felt pretty good. I thought he did well, given he's been out for eight or nine weeks. Overall, I thought he was pretty decent.

"I am assuming he is going to play against Italy in some form, and I think the game-time he got will have been important for him."

McCall also provided an update on the fitness of Vunipola's younger brother, Billy, who has not played since November after undergoing knee surgery.

"Billy is going very well. He is definitely ahead of schedule, and it will depend how the next week or so goes regarding when he comes back," said McCall.