Ben Morgan hopes for England recall

By Chris JonesBBC Radio 5 live rugby union reporter
Ben Morgan
Gloucester's Ben Morgan put in a man-of-the-match display against Castres in the Champions Cup on Sunday

Ben Morgan would be ready to make a shock return to international rugby to help solve England's crisis at number eight.

Billy Vunipola was injured in Saracens' win at Glasgow on Sunday, while Nathan Hughes is facing a ban.

Sam Simmonds, who featured during the Six Nations, is also out.

Gloucester's Morgan last played for England in 2015, but was man of the match in Sunday's win over Castres and says he "always" hopes of a recall.

"I'm enjoying my rugby, and if it leads to anything else then fantastic," Morgan, who has 31 caps, told BBC Radio 5 live.

Morgan's head coach at Gloucester Johan Ackermann added: "He's in great form and has all the qualities. He must just keep knocking at that door."

Morgan has not been picked for England by current head coach Eddie Jones, and if he is again overlooked then Bath's Zach Mercer is in pole position to win a first cap this autumn.

Jones was at Kingsholm as Morgan's team-mate Danny Cipriani kicked 14 points in a solid display against Castres in the Champions Cup.

And with the Australian set to name his squad for England's autumn internationals on Thursday, there also appears to be a shortage at loosehead prop.

Saracens' Mako Vunipola is awaiting a prognosis after injuring a calf at Scotstoun, while Joe Marler has retired from international rugby and Ellis Genge is also unavailable.

The shortage will elevate players like Alec Hepburn, who made his debut during the Six Nations, and the impressive Val Rapava-Ruskin.