Hughes fit to replace Billy Vunipola for England

Nathan Hughes is available for England’s final autumn international against Australia on Saturday after taking a full part in training.

Hughes missed the 27-14 victory over Argentina with a foot injury but has been cleared to replace Billy Vunipola in the back row against the Wallabies at Twickenham in what would be his full Test debut.

Vunipola has been ruled out for at least three months after undergoing knee surgery, jeopardising his participation in the RBS 6 Nations, and Eddie Jones has already described the Fijian-born Hughes as the “obvious” replacement at number eight.

“Nathan has done really well in camp since he joined, last week’s injury aside,” forwards coach Steve Borthwick said. “Billy is a tremendous player who has done really well for us and has been a big figure in our team.

“But injuries are an opportunity for other players and what we’ve seen throughout this series is players coming in and taking chances presented by injury.

“This is another one of those opportunities. We have a lot of quality back row forwards in the squad.”

Jack Clifford offers number eight cover but having just made his comeback from ankle surgery, he must now observe the return to play protocols for concussion after taking a blow to the head for Harlequins against Bath on Sunday.

England defeated Argentina despite seeing wing Elliot Daly sent off in the fifth minute and for all the Pumas’ cluelessness at exploiting their numerical advantage, it was a remarkable performance.

“It was colossal. We had 14 men for 75 minutes but we still won a Test match against a team that’s as strong as Argentina,” defence coach Paul Gustard said. “Everyone was raving about Argentina in the World Cup 12 months ago and they had a strong Rugby Championship.

“For 15 minutes we had 13 men. At the start of the second half, one bad defensive error led to a try and that’s Test match rugby – you get punished for respects.

“We all felt unbelievably privileged to be part of a group that responded so courageously and heroically for a large portion of the game.”

Source Article from http://www.espn.co.uk/rugby/story/_/id/18156028/hughes-fit-replace-billy-vunipola-england
Hughes fit to replace Billy Vunipola for England
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