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Dublin: 10°C Wednesday 14 April 2021

Broken arm rules Vunipola out of Six Nations

When Eddie Jones names his England squad later today, Billy Vunipola’s name won’t be on it.

Billy Vunipola got injured against Racing yesterday.
Billy Vunipola got injured against Racing yesterday.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

ENGLAND’S HOPES OF reclaiming the Six Nations title have suffered a blow following the news that Billy Vunipola looks set to miss the tournament with a suspected broken forearm.

The 27-year-old suffered the injury during Saracens’ victory over Racing 92 yesterday, the fourth time he has been struck by this particular injury in the last two years.

“It looks like a suspected broken arm,” Mark McCall, Saracens’ director of rugby, said.

Alex Sanderson, the Saracens assistant coach, added: “He has broken both in the past, so you start to think there’s something genetically wrong with him. He knew straight away so we got him off the field.”

The news was the last thing Eddie Jones needed ahead of today’s squad announcement, given the fall-out from the Saracens’ debacle and the concern about amalgamating their players with those from rival clubs.

A number of new players are being considered for promotion to Jones’ squad – Saracens’ Ben Earl, Sale’s Ben Curry being in the mix for a place in the back row; second row Jonny Hill may be recalled – although seasoned internationals, Dan Cole and Ben Youngs, may lose out.

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Meanwhile, Exeter Chiefs’ director of rugby, Rob Baxter, has said that Luke Cowan-Dickie should edge out his Saracens rival, Jamie George, and start as hooker for England. “Luke is absolutely bang on form,” Baxter said.

“Obviously competition is stiff and Jamie George has the shirt at the moment but, if you broke down Luke’s performance at the weekend and looked at his individual actions, they are tough for any other hooker to compete with. Hopefully that is how he will be judged going into the England camp.”

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