London - England coach Stuart Lancaster has had to drop Billy Vunipola
and replace the number eight with Thomas Waldrom in his squad for the
November Test finale against Australia on Saturday because of
Vunipola took a blow to the head in
Saracens' 31-24 Premiership defeat by Northampton on Sunday and has been
ruled out of contention for Twickenham against the Wallabies.
He was dropped for the 28-9 victory over Samoa at Twickenham at the
weekend - Ben Morgan started in his place - and was unlikely to figure
in the climax to the autumn.
"Billy will undergo the graduated return to play protocol at his club," read a statement released by England.
Saturday's win over Samoa ended a run of five straight defeats for the 2015 World Cup hosts.
Australia, their pool rivals in the World Cup, went down 29-26 to Ireland in Dublin in their weekend test in Dublin.
While Waldrom is not expected to feature against Australia, his
inclusion among the 34 players called up to England's Pennyhill Park
training camp is reward for the strong form shown for second-placed
Flyhalf Stephen Myler is in the squad after recovering from a
hamstring strain, while his Saints team-mate Courtney Lawes is being
treated for a knee injury that could sideline him for the visit of the
If Lawes fails to recover in time, Dave Attwood and George Kruis will start with Graham Kitchener offering cover from the bench.