Billy Vunipola will discover the severity of his ankle injury on Tuesday as England sweat over his availability for the climax to their Rugby World Cup group campaign against France.
Vunipola failed to appear for the second-half of the 39-10 victory over Argentina on Saturday that guaranteed their presence in the quarter-finals with the Pool C finale at International Stadium Yokohama still to play.
The marauding Saracens number eight is the only player to have started all 12 of England’s games this year and the overwhelming priority will be to ensure he is fit for the last eight.
“Billy has had a scan and we will have a clearer picture tomorrow (Tuesday),” scrum coach Neal Hatley said.
“He is being assessed, that will go on throughout the day and then we’ll see how he pulls up. He has another 24 hours and then we’ll make a firm diagnosis.”
If Vunipola fails to pull through then Tom Curry or Mark Wilson will deputise in the back row, but his absence will still have a significant impact on England’s ball carrying.
Mako Vunipola made his comeback from a hamstring injury against Argentina and would fill the void, but Hatley insists there are other options in the Red Rose ranks.
“We plan for all eventualities and with what we have got in Ellis Genge, Mako Vunipola, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes and Kyle Sinckler, there are people to pick up the slack when Mako and Billy don’t play,” Hatley said.
“We have played a lot of rugby without them. Billy is an important figure for us, but other people pick up the slack.”
Wales head coach Warren Gatland has made two changes to the starting line-up for Wednesday’s Rugby World Cup clash against Fiji in Oita.
Flanker James Davies and number eight Ross Moriarty both make their first starts of the tournament as Wales target a victory that would confirm a quarter-final place.
Davies replaces Justin Tipuric, while Josh Navidi moves from number eight to blindside flanker instead of Aaron Wainwright, with Moriarty featuring following two powerful performances off the bench.
Gatland has otherwise kept the side the same as that which accounted for Georgia and Australia in Wales’ first two World Cup games.
Davies, meanwhile, will line up alongside his brother – centre Jonathan – as Wales target a third successive World Cup victory over Fiji.
Fly-half Dan Biggar, who failed a head injury assessment during the Wallabies clash in Tokyo eight days ago, is fit to resume.
If Wales beat Fiji and then defeat Uruguay next Sunday, they will reach the last-eight as unbeaten group winners for the first time in a World Cup campaign since 1987.
Among the replacements, Gatland has named Saracens prop Rhys Carre, who made his Test debut during Wales’ World Cup warm-up Tests.
And flanker Aaron Shingler will again provide second-row cover for Jake Ball and captain Alun Wyn Jones, with Wainwright as the back-row substitute.
Wales team to play Fiji in World Cup Pool D in Oita on Wednesday.
L Williams (Saracens); G North (Ospreys), J Davies (Scarlets), H Parkes (Scarlets), J Adams (Cardiff Blues); D Biggar (Northampton), G Davies (Scarlets); W Jones (Scarlets), K Owens (Scarlets), T Francis (Exeter), J Ball (Scarlets), A W Jones (Ospreys, capt), J Navidi (Cardiff Blues), J Davies (Scarlets), R Moriarty (Dragons).
Replacements: E Dee (Dragons), R Carre (Saracens), D Lewis (Cardiff Blues), A Shingler (Scarlets), A Wainwright (Dragons), T Williams (Cardiff Blues), R Patchell (Scarlets), O Watkin (Ospreys).
World Rugby is monitoring a typhoon that could hit Japan on Saturday and stop Ireland’s Rugby World Cup campaign in its tracks.
Typhoon Hagibis has formed in the Western Pacific Ocean off the south coast of Japan, with forecasts suggesting it could hit the island of Kyushu this weekend.
Ireland face Samoa in the Kyushu city of Fukuoka on Saturday, where Joe Schmidt’s men need a bonus-point victory to seal a place in the quarter-finals.
Any games cancelled at the World Cup due to weather problems are registered as scoreless draws.
That scenario would allow Scotland the chance to leapfrog Ireland into second place, should Gregor Townsend’s men see off both Russia on Wednesday and hosts Japan on Sunday.
Previous predictions of typhoons hitting Japan and disrupting the tournament have so far proved wide of the mark.
Typhoon Mitag had threatened France’s clash with the USA in Fukuoka last week, but the match was completed without issue.
World Rugby is monitoring the situation and will issue further updates as the situation develops.
“We are currently monitoring the development of a typhoon off the south coast of Japan in partnership with our weather information experts,” said a World Rugby spokesman.
“It is still too early to determine what, if any, impact there will be on match or training activities.”