Six Nations: England's Nathan Hughes could face Scotland after 'tough sessions'

Nathan Hughes in England training
Nathan Hughes has played 12 times for England
Six Nations 2018: Scotland v England
Venue: Murrayfield Date: Saturday, 24 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio Scotland. Live text commentary and report on the BBC website and app

England number eight Nathan Hughes has been on a conditioning crash-course to prove his fitness before Saturday's Calcutta Cup match with Scotland.

The Wasps forward has played only 90 minutes of rugby in the past three months because of two knee injuries.

But the 26-year-old is set to be thrust into Eddie Jones' XV at Murrayfield.

"Eddie sat me down and told me I need to get match fit. These last two weeks have been tough, they've been working me hard," Hughes told BBC Radio 5 live.

"I have one more week to go fitness-wise, and I think I'll be ready."

It was initially feared Hughes may miss all of the Six Nations after damaging knee ligaments during Wasps' Champions Cup meeting with La Rochelle in December.

However, he featured in the Premiership game at Harlequins last weekend, and is now set to replace the injured Sam Simmonds in the England back row.

"The specialist said 10 to 12 weeks, but I pushed myself to come back in eight," Hughes said. "I targeted the Harlequins game and managed to tick all the boxes.

"You don't want to push yourself too hard, because another injury could occur. In November, I had one knee injury, then came back for the European Cup and did the other knee.

"Now I've learned the lesson and taken my time."

Hughes has had a series of intense fitness sessions in London during the fallow week as he seeks to show Jones he is sharp enough for an immediate return to the England fold.

"The week has been very tough," he said. "I've been doing an extra bit of fitness after training and before training, and even did a bit of fitness on the recovery day.

"I'm not there yet, but I'll recover this weekend, and after a couple of days back next week I think I will be ready again."

With Hughes in line to start at the back of the scrum, James Haskell is likely to be given a place on the bench to provide cover across the back row.

Loose-head prop Joe Marler will also return to the matchday squad after serving a suspension.

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