England sweat on Vunipola fitness at Rugby World Cup

Billy Vunipola (Getty)
Billy Vunipola (Getty)

Tokyo - England's marauding No 8 Billy Vunipola did not train on Tuesday amid fresh concerns over his fitness as he recovers from an ankle injury sustained against Argentina at the Rugby World Cup.

Assistant coach Scott Wisemantel insisted to reporters that "at this stage, all 31 (players) are available" but admitted that the 26-year-old Saracens forward did not take the field as he was "focused on recovery."

The England camp had said on Monday that Vunipola was undergoing a scan on his ankle but Wisemantel declined to give any information about the results.

"I don't know. I'm not a doctor. I take no interest in that. I just know who's training, who's not training," he said.

"If there's any risk that Billy is not going to be 100 percent, we will rest him but at this stage we're pretty confident," he said, adding that a decision would probably be made late Wednesday or early Thursday.

Vunipola has become something of a talisman for Eddie Jones's side and England would miss his strong carrying game against France on Saturday as the two old rivals clash to see who tops Pool C.

Jones initially tried to laugh off the injury to Vunipola, who was substituted after 40 minutes against Argentina on Saturday, saying he had "slipped on a piece of Kobe beef."

However, he eventually relented, telling reporters that he had twisted his ankle but that it was not a serious injury.

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