OITA, Japan (Reuters) – England should have a fully fit squad for Saturday’s World Cup semi-final against New Zealand with both Jonny May and Jack Nowell expected to recover from injury, assistant coach Neal Hatley has said.
Winger May scored two tries but injured his hamstring in England’s 40-16 quarter-final victory over Australia at the weekend, while Nowell missed the game against the Wallabies with a similar problem.
“It’s fantastic where we are, all 31 (players) being available for selection at the end of the week,” Hatley told reporters on Monday.
“Jonny’s bouncing around this morning. He has a small twinge and we’ll assess where he is a little bit later today. He’s in really good spirits, moving well, and we expect Jack to be fit for selection as well.”
Hatley also said he was pleased by Mako Vunipola’s condition after the prop made his first start since May against Australia on Saturday.
“Unbelievably impressed,” the coach added. “He continues to go from strength to strength. We’ve talked before about this team of 31 and everyone’s doing their part but Mako, when he plays well, like he did, is a real force.
“I think Mako surprises everybody – well other people are surprised outside of the squad… He’s got himself in the best condition, as have all the other boys, that he’s ever been in.”
(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)