Mako Vunipola England flanker Shields a major World Cup doubt after suffering foot injury

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Mako Vunipola FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - England v Italy - Twickenham Stadium, London, Britain - March 9, 2019 England's Brad Shields scores their eighth try. Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union – Six Nations Championship – England v Italy – Twickenham Stadium, London, Britain – March 9, 2019 England’s Brad Shields scores their eighth try. Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra/File Photo

England flanker Brad Shields faces a race against time to be fit for the Rugby World Cup after being ruled out for up to six weeks by his foot injury.

Shields last week returned home from the warm-weather training camp in Treviso after sustaining ligament damage and could miss all four warm-up games, starting with Wales at Twickenham a week on Sunday.

“Brad’s got a tear in the lower foot. It’s always a little bit niggly, but it’s four to six weeks for him,” assistant coach John Mitchell said.

“Obviously we’ve got a deadline and that’s important, but (head coach) Eddie Jones will decide on who’s right and who’s not right. There’s plenty of time to go.”

Jones must make a call on Shields before August 12 when he names his 31-man squad for Japan 2019.

If fit, the New Zealand-born Wasps flanker would be a strong contender to travel, but with Mako Vunipola, George Kruis and Jack Nowell also in various stages of rehab, the squad would be in danger

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