Mako Vunipola England vs Australia: Billy Vunipola ‘very likely’ to start Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Wallabies

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Billy Vunipola is “very likely” to start Saturday’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final, handing England a major boost ahead of their showdown with Australia.

The No 8 is on course to recover from the ankle injury he suffered against Argentina two weekends ago to retain his place in the starting line-up, meaning the forward is in line to make his 13th consecutive start for England in this weekend’s opening last-eight fixture.

Assistant coach John Mitchell said that he is confident Vunipola will be available for the Walalbies clash, adding that the 26-year-old was back in training as he goes through the final stages of his rehabilitation.

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“Billy is progressing really well,” Mitchell said. “He has trained again today so we are very confident in his progression each day.

“He is a very important player to us and a very likeable player as well. He fits well within the team.”

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It means that England could name an unchanged starting XV for the first time at the World Cup, with Joe Marler fit again to feature at prop in contention with Mako Vunipola and Ellis Genge.

But Eddie Jones is likely to make a change on the ben

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