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England sweating on fitness of Ruaridh McConnochie

Eddie Jones’ side play Wales on Saturday.

Ruaridh McConnochie may miss England’s Test against Wales (Ben Birchall/PA)
Ruaridh McConnochie may miss England’s Test against Wales (Ben Birchall/PA)

By Duncan Bech, PA England Rugby Correspondent

Ruaridh McConnochie is a late doubt for England’s World Cup warm-up Test against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday because of muscle soreness.

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McConnochie was due to make his international debut in the opening fixture of the build-up to Japan 2019 against Warren Gatland’s men last weekend but was withdrawn due to a hip problem.

The Bath wing, a sevens specialist who won a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics, is understood to be 50-50 to pull through.

“Ruaridh pulled up a bit sore today so we’re not 100 per cent sure how he’ll be,” head coach Eddie Jones said.

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Anthony Watson, left, could profit from Ruaridh McConnochie’s injury (Adam Davy/PA)

“We’ll find out later tonight. It’s not the same injury. He’s just sore, so we’ll find out about it.”

If McConnochie fails his fitness test, either Anthony Watson or Jonny May will be drafted straight into the starting XV to plug the gap on the right wing.

Jones delivered better news on Mako Vunipola, the loosehead prop who is poised to make his comeback from a significant hamstring injury sustained at the back end of last season.

“Mako did a bit of extra work at the end of training today, a bit of contact work. A bit of defence work. He should get some time next weekend against Ireland,” Jones said.

PA

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