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Big blow for England as Mako Vunipola ruled out of Ireland clash

The 29-year-old has travelled to Tonga for family reasons.

ENGLAND HAVE BEEN dealt a big blow ahead of Sunday’s clash against Ireland in the Six Nations, with loosehead prop Mako Vunipola ruled out.

The Saracens man has not been named in England’s squad this week as he has travelled to Tonga – where his parents are from – for family reasons.

Vunipola missed England’s Six Nations opener against France due to injury, with his absence keenly felt in a defeat in Paris. The 29-year-old returned for England’s win over Scotland in round two.

Bath’s Beno Obano comes into the England squad in place of Vunipola, while head coach Eddie Jones also has Joe Marler and Ellis Genge to pick from at loosehead prop.

mako-vunipola-and-george-kruis Vunipola is an important player for England. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Billy Vunipola, Mako’s younger brother, is also currently missing for England due to a broken arm.

England boss Jones has named a 33-man squad to prepare for Sunday’s meeting with Ireland.

Manu Tuilagi, who was injured early on against France and missed the Scotland win, is named in Jones’ squad, as is Exeter’s Henry Slade, who has been absent with an ankle injury.

England’s 33-man squad:

Forwards: Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter), Tom Curry (Sale), Tom Dunn (Bath), Ben Earl (Saracens), Charlie Ewels (Bath), Ellis Genge (Leicester), Jamie George (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Beno Obano (Bath), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Will Stuart (Bath), Sam Underhill (Bath), Harry Williams (Exeter)
    
Backs: Elliot Daly (Saracens), Ollie Devoto (Exeter), Fraser Dingwall (Northampton), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Leicester), George Furbank (Northampton), Willi Heinz (Gloucester), Jonathan Joseph (Bath), Jonny May (Leicester), Henry Slade (Exeter), Ollie Thorley (Gloucester), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester), Jacob Umaga (Wasps), Ben Youngs (Leicester).

Apprentice player: Alex Mitchell (Northampton).

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Murray Kinsella

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