Billy Vunipola has said that it is unlikely that he will play any part in England’s Six Nations campaign as he is still recovering from a knee injury.

Vunipola, 24 years old, had surgery in December last year to repair ligament damage that he suffered during the autumn.

The England head coach Eddie Jones had expressed his hopes that Vunipola could be back in time for England’s final Six Nations match against Ireland in Dublin on March 18th but the chances of that happening appear to be very slim.

Speaking this week Vunipola said, “I have still got a while to go, hopefully I will be running soon. I think it’ll be two or three weeks so I probably won’t make the Ireland game.”

He went on to say that he has a lot of work ahead but that the support he is receiving from the physio team and the strength and conditioning group has been fantastic so far.

Vunipola said that he intends to keep his head down and to keep working but that he won’t rush anything, “when I am back, I am back, but I am not expecting to walk straight back into the England team. It will be tough for me to put pressure on myself so it is probably a bit unfair to say I will come straight back into the fold.”

However, Vunipola’s brother Mako is set to return for the England game against Twickenham this weekend after he missed the opening two games of the tournament against France and Wales due to a knee ligament injury.

Mako Vunipola proved his fitness to Eddie Jones after nine weeks out when he played for 70 minutes for the Saracens during last week’s 31 – 23 defeat to Gloucester.