Saracens' Billy Vunipola set to start Premiership final despite fitness scare

Billy Vunipola pictured in training ahead of Saturday's Aviva Premiership final at Twickenham. David Rogers/Getty Images

Billy Vunipola is expected to start Saracens' Aviva Premiership final against Exeter at Twickenham on Saturday.

The England number eight lasted only the first half of the playoff victory over Wasps because of a persistent hamstring injury, but director of rugby Mark McCall insists he should be given the all-clear.

"Billy did a little bit of training this morning [Tuesday] and will train again on Thursday," McCall said. "We expect him to be available to play. We've just got to be sensible with him. Hopefully he will be OK."

Wales fullback Liam Williams could return from the shoulder problem he sustained against Gloucester on May 5, but his outlook to make the showpiece against the Premiership champions is less positive.

"Liam Williams is touch and go and we'll make a call on him on Thursday," McCall added. "Everyone else who played last weekend we hope to have available."

Vunipola's fitness has repercussions for England as the powerful back row has been named in Eddie Jones' squad bound for South Africa next month.

The 25-year-old returned from a fractured arm against London Irish earlier this month only to be struck by the hamstring complaint that has limited his game time ahead of the three-Test series against the Springboks.

"If his hamstring is OK and everything is OK post final, then it would be a good thing for him to go on the tour," McCall said.

"Clearly if he's carrying something then it wouldn't be the best for him to go on a three-week tour."