Billy Vunipola worthy of England recall, says scrum coach Hatley


Billy Vunipola has done enough to prove he should be in the England squad despite having only played one game since returning from injury, says scrum coach Neal Hatley.

The number eight made his comeback from a three-month lay-off for Saracens on Sunday, playing 72 minutes in a 35-27 Premiership victory over Newcastle Falcons.

Vunipola underwent an operation in November after tearing cartilage in his knee, but recovered quicker than expected and has been included in Eddie Jones' 30-man training squad ahead of England's penultimate Six Nations match against Scotland at Twickenham this weekend.

Hatley praised the returning Vunipola, who he feels fully warrants his recall despite a lack of time on the pitch this year.

"I thought Billy did well considering it was only his first game back," Hatley told England Rugby.

"It was a good performance for a guy who has been out as long as he has been.

"I think he has done enough to prove he should be in the squad. It's just fantastic to have him back."

Vunipola will provide additional competition for Nathan Hughes, something which Hatley is sure will improve Jones' squad.

"It's great to have that competition between him and Nathan Hughes," said Hatley.

"He is similar to Nathan in that he brings good control at the base of the scrum and from a carrying point of view he is one of the top carriers around. He has real power and defensively he hits hard and is good over the ball."