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Sam Underhill hands England fitness boost as he gears up for Bath comeback

Duncan Bech, PA England Rugby Correspondent
·2-min read

Sam Underhill makes his comeback from a hip problem for Bath on Saturday to raise the prospect of him appearing in the final two rounds of England’s Guinness Six Nations campaign.

The Gallagher Premiership clash with Exeter will be Underhill’s first outing since sustaining the injury in January, forcing him to miss the Championship games against Scotland, Italy and Wales.

Jack Willis took his place in England’s 28-man squad but the Wasps flanker sustained a serious knee injury against the Azzurri and is ruled out long term.

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The vacancy created by Willis’ absence has been filled by 19-year-old Leicester back-five forward George Martin and his spot would be under threat if Jones does opt to recall Underhill.

Beno Obano also starts for Bath after those who have played few minutes for England during the Six Nations were made available to their clubs.

Bristol have opted against picking back row Ben Earl or full-back Max Malins, despite their peripheral roles for England, and there is no place for Paolo Odogwu in Wasps’ 23 as he approaches 50 days without a game.

Meanwhile, Willis has revealed for the first time that he faces up to a year on the sidelines.

“I’ve torn my MCL off the bone at the bottom, torn a bit off the top as well, so I am going to need that fully repaired,” Willis said in a video posted on Instagram.

“Torn both meniscus, the medial meniscus from the root one side. Pretty gutted, I could be out for up to a year.”