Green light for Marler

Date published: January 30 2017

England have been handed a boost after loosehead prop Joe Marler was passed fit to face France in their Six Nations opener on Saturday.

The Harlequins front-row has recovered from a fractured leg and his comeback is a significant lift due to Mako Vunipola being ruled out.

“Everything is on track for Joe,” forwards coach Steve Borthwick told BBC Radio 5 live.

“To have him back fit is brilliant. He’s been incredibly diligent to make sure he is in the best physical shape.”

In a further boost to Eddie Jones’ squad ahead of the Twickenham clash, flanker James Haskell is available after a long-term foot problem.

However, it is possible that Maro Itoje could still move from second-row to the back-row against France due to Chris Robshaw’s absence.

“The versatility that Maro offers is brilliant,” Borthwick added.

“The way he plays, it’s not about trying to change anything. It’s about going on the field and bringing energy, enthusiasm and physicality.”