Six Nations Rugby | Vunipola and Launchbury set for England returns

England coach Eddie Jones will name his matchday 23 on Thursday, with two of his key forwards back in contention after missing Sunday’s 2020 Guinness Six Nations-opening 24-17 loss to France.

Prop Vunipola suffered an eye injury during the days before the clash in Paris, while lock Launchbury didn’t recover in time from a knee injury sustained for club side Wasps against Bordeaux- Bègles in mid-January.

However, both are now fighting fit and included in the 25-man group as England try to regain the Calcutta Cup for the first time since 2017.

Launchbury could come into the starting XV for Charlie Ewels, who isn’t part of Jones’s squad, or take George Kruis’s place on the bench if the Saracens man gets the nod in the engine room.

Meanwhile, Vunipola is set for his 59th England appearance with Will Stuart likely to be the man from the 23 that took on France who misses out at the 29-year-old’s expense.

Centre Manu Tuilagi and winger Anthony Watson have returned to their clubs to continue their rehabilitation from injury, which means Gloucester Rugby speedster Ollie Thorley is in line to make his senior international debut.

England’s 25-man squad for their Calcutta Cup match vs Scotland at BT Murrayfield:

Forwards
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)
Ben Earl (Saracens)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers)
Jamie George (Saracens)
Maro Itoje (Saracens)
George Kruis (Saracens)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints)
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)

Backs
Elliot Daly (Saracens)
Ollie Devoto (Exeter Chiefs)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
George Furbank (Northampton Saints)
Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)
Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

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