London - England's Billy Vunipola will miss the rest of this season's Six Nations, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) have announced on Monday.
21-year-old No8 suffered a sprained right ankle that forced him off
before half-time during England's 13-10 win over Ireland at Twickenham
on Saturday, with Ben Morgan coming off the bench for the rest of the
Vunipola had a scan on Monday which, the RFU said, revealed
ligament damage that will make him unavailable for England's remaining
matches at home to two-time defending champions Wales on March 9 and
away to Italy on March 15.
"It's a blow as Billy has had a good Six Nations but he is young and he will be back," said England coach Stuart Lancaster.
encouraging thing is we have got Ben Morgan and other back rows such as
Matt Kvesic and Tom Johnson who are all competing for places."
Saracens and England medical staff will now work on a recovery plan for the eight-times capped Vunipola.
the family are still set to be represented in the Test squad, with
Billy's brother Mako, two years older at 23, currently one of England's
reserve props and who came on as a replacement against Ireland.
victory on Saturday saw them create a four-way tie at the top of the
table involving themselves, Ireland, France and Wales, all of whom have
won two out of their opening three matches this Six Nations.
Ireland though have a huge points difference advantage of +42, compared to England's +21, Wales' +6 and France's +1.