Jones issues Nowell update

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Jack Nowell will not feature in England's opening two games of the Rugby World Cup in Japan confirmed head coach Eddie Jones. Picture: Getty Images

By Mark Stevens

England head coach Eddie Jones has revealed that he will be without both Mako Vunipola and Jack Nowell for at least the first two games of the Rugby World Cup.

Speaking after his side completed preparations with a 37-0 win over Italy at St James’s Park, Jones confirmed the extent of injuries which will continue to sideline the pair ahead of the tournament in Japan.

Prop Vunipola aggravated a hamstring injury when he made a brief return against Ireland late last month, while Nowell has been making good progress from a serious ankle injury, but suffered a setback earlier this week when he had to undergo surgery to remove his appendix.

Jones said: “We feel that he (Vunipola) will be right possibly for game three or four. Jack in the last couple of days has taken off and we’ve had to hold him back, but he should be right again around the same time as Mako. He (Vunipola) is a very important player and we are very confident that he will make a very important contribution for us.”

Nowell is one of three Chiefs players heading to the Far East with England, teaming up with club-mates Luke Cowan-Dickie and Henry Slade.

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