Billy Vunipola 'feeling refreshed' ahead of injury comeback for Saracens
Billy Vunipola has declared himself ready for action after an unexpectedly early comeback from injury that will aid the climatic stage of England's Grand Slam defence.
Vunipola has recovered from the knee ligament damage sustained in November three weeks ahead of schedule and has been drafted straight into Saracens' starting XV for their Aviva Premiership clash with Newcastle.
If the number eight proves his fitness at Kingston Park on Sunday, he will come into contention for Scotland's visit to Twickenham on March 11 and the potential title decider against Ireland in Dublin a week later.
"I'm really excited to be back out there this weekend. I'm feeling refreshed, the body feels great and I'm ready for what will be a really tough game up in Newcastle," Vunipola said.
"I'd like to thank the whole medical team, especially our physio Laura Tulloch and our head of performance Phil Morrow, for their support throughout my time out."
England have sorely missed their most potent ball carrier since he damaged his knee against Argentina, turning to the less experienced Nathan Hughes in his absence.
Billy's elder brother Mako is also present in the Saracens' pack after being released back to his club in order to gain match fitness.
Mako only recently recovered from his own knee complaint and following a second-half cameo in the 36-15 victory over Italy, it was decided he would benefit from another run out before the penultimate round of the Six Nations.
A third likely member of England's 23 against Scotland is also on Premiership duty this weekend.
Anthony Watson has been picked on the left wing for Bath's home match against Wasps in his first appearance since incurring a hamstring problem in late January.
It is expected to be a dress rehearsal for his return to England's starting XV, most likely on the wing.