Now­ell and May given clean bill of health for semi-fi­nal

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Rugby World Cup - By Gavin Mairs

Eng­land are ex­pected to have a fully-fit squad for the first time in their World Cup cam­paign when they face New Zealand on Satur­day, with Jack Now­ell and Jonny May both ex­pected to be avail­able.

Now­ell, who missed the quar­ter­fi­nal vic­tory over Aus­tralia on Satur­day, is on course to re­cover from a ham­string in­jury, hav­ing made a try-scor­ing re­turn from a long-term lay-off in the pool vic­tory over Ar­gentina.

May, mean­while, suf­fered a mi­nor ham­string in­jury of his own

af­ter scor­ing two first-half tries on his 50th in­ter­na­tional ap­pear­ance in the 40-16 vic­tory over the Wal­la­bies.

“Jonny’s bounc­ing around this morn­ing. He has a small twinge and we’ll as­sess where he is a lit­tle bit later to­day,” Neal Hat­ley, the Eng­land scrum coach, said yes­ter­day.

“He’s in re­ally good spir­its, mov­ing well, and we ex­pect Jack to be fit for se­lec­tion as well.

“It’s fan­tas­tic where we are – all 31 be­ing avail­able for se­lec­tion at the end of the week.”

Hat­ley has also spo­ken about the boost of hav­ing Mako Vu­nipola fit again af­ter his sum­mer lay-off.

Vu­nipola, who started against Aus­tralia hav­ing been lim­ited to just 17 min­utes of rugby since May 11 when he came off the bench as a re­place­ment in the win over Ar­gentina, de­liv­ered a hugely im­pres­sive dis­play.

“We were un­be­liev­ably im­pressed by Mako. He con­tin­ues to go from strength to strength,”

Hat­ley said. “And he needs to be­cause El­lis Genge and Joe Mar­ler have been fe­ro­cious in train­ing and ev­ery­one’s putting the pres­sure on.

“We’ve talked be­fore about this team of 31, and ev­ery­one’s do­ing their part, but Mako, when he plays well like he did, is a real force.

“With­out sound­ing mas­sively blase about it, I wasn’t sur­prised at the per­for­mance that he turned in, but I can un­der­stand why peo­ple out­side of our group would look at it and go, ‘That’s a hell of a per­for­mance’. ”

Eng­land will name their team to face New Zealand on Thurs­day morn­ing.

Real force: Mako Vu­nipola was im­pres­sive af­ter start­ing the game against Aus­tralia

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