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James Haskell return a timely boost for England

England flanker James Haskell is poised to make his comeback after seven months on the sidelines when Wasps face Leicester on Sunday.

Haskell has been named on the bench for the Aviva Premiership showdown against the Tigers at the Ricoh Arena after completing his recovery from a toe injury that ended his summer tour to Australia.

The back row limped off towards the end of the series-clinching second Test in Melbourne and underwent surgery.

His return leaves him with three fixtures to prove his fitness ahead of the RBS 6 Nations opener against France on February 4, with Wasps also facing Toulouse and Zebre in the Champions Cup this month.

Haskell was instrumental in England completing an historic series victory on Australian soil, with a bone-jarring tackle on David Pocock the highlight of his two performances.

His availability could be well-timed, with Eddie Jones learning on Monday if Chris Robshaw, another key back row forward, can play any part in the Six Nations due to a shoulder problem.

Jones has received further good news with confirmation that Joe Launchbury's calf problem is not as severe as first feared and he should be available for the entirety of England's Grand Slam defence.

Launchbury went for a scan on Monday night and has been pencilled in for a return against Toulouse on Saturday week.

"Joe looks like he isn't going to be fit against Leicester, but we don't see any reason why he's not going to be fit for Toulouse at this stage," Wasps director of rugby Dai Young said.

"I don't pick the Six Nations squad obviously, but we're expecting him to be fit for Wasps next week.

"He's had a scan and he's got some bleeding in his calf, but it's not a significant tear or anything like that."

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