Mako Vunipola is available for England’s Six Nations game with Wales after being named in an extended 34-man training squad.
Head coach Eddie Jones had stated Vunipola was unlikely to be in contention for the Grand Slam champions’ visit to Twickenham on Saturday after travelling to Tonga for unspecified personal reasons.
But the powerful Saracens prop (pictured) is back at England’s training base ahead of schedule and will compete for loosehead duties with Joe Marler and Ellis Genge.
In a further boost to England’s title hopes, wing Anthony Watson and hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie are present in the 34-man party after calf problems and the premature birth of his son respectively.
For the first time in this Six Nations, Jones has picked a third scrum-half behind Ben Youngs and Willi Heinz. Jack Maunder won his only cap on the 2017 tour to Argentina but the Exeter man could force his way into the 23.
Mark Wilson is challenging for a back-row spot as he continues his comeback from a knee injury.