Billy Vunipola to miss rest of Six Nations
February 24, 2014
Billy Vunipola will now miss England's remaining matches against Wales and Italy © Getty Images
Billy Vunipola has been ruled out of the remainder of the Six Nations with an ankle injury he sustained at the weekend.
Vunipola hobbled off after twisting his right ankle in a tackle by Devin Toner shortly before half-time during the 13-10 win over Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday and, as a result, will now miss England's final two games against Wales and Italy.
"It's a blow as Billy has had a good Six Nations but he is young and will be back," Stuart Lancaster said.
Lancaster admitted Vunipola was "no more than 50-50" to feature against Wales, but a scan on Monday revealed the extent of the ligament damage is worse than first feared. However, it is not known how much more of the season the Saracens back row will miss.
Ben Morgan replaced Vunipola against Ireland and will be promoted to the starting line-up for the visit of Wales on Sunday week. Either Tom Johnson or Matt Kvesic will take Morgan's place on the bench.
"The encouraging thing is that we have Ben Morgan and other back rows such as Matt Kvesic and Tom Johnson who are all competing hard for places," Lancaster said.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has warned that any Champions League slip-up could be fatal to his unbeaten team
Daniel Sturridge has insisted the thigh strain that has likely ruled him out until the New Year is "just another hurdle to jump over" as he bids to return to action for Liverpool
Wasps back Elliot Daly has been cited for alleged verbal abuse of a referee
Chris Eubank Jr has claimed he can detect chinks in Billy Joe Saunders' armour that tell him his opponent is not ready for their upcoming fight
Olivier Giroud will miss both of Arsenal's remaining Champions League group matches after the club made the mistake of not including the striker on their original squad list
As any fan of new-age percussion instruments will know, Dion Dublin has enjoyed a wide variety of musical pursuits since retiring from football in 2008
Join Steve Bunce and Barry Jones each week for the latest news, views and debate from the boxing world.
Who did Scotland's former director of rugby Scott Johnson play for?
Sport is not always about margins, writes Alan Tyers, as Manchester United and Lewis Hamilton proved this weekend - you sometimes just need a bit of luck
After Lewis Hamilton ended his wait for a second world title ESPN rounds up the main talking points from the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Tony Bellew got his revenge on Nathan Cleverly as he earned a split decision victory in their rematch at Liverpool's Echo Arena on Saturday
Jose Mourinho has apologised to Chelsea fans for his recent criticism of the Stamford Bridge atmosphere
Australia's batsmen played a handful of poor strokes, but they were far less frequent and consequently less terminal than those offered up by Sri Lanka's on day one
Brendan Rodgers has responded to talk of Premier League title pressure on his Liverpool side by declaring: "I've never slept better."
George Groves successfully defended his WBC silver super-middleweight title and mandatory position for the world title with a seventh round stoppage of Denis Douglin
Going in to the Abu Dhabi GP, Lewis Hamilton is 17 points ahead in the drivers' championship. What's the biggest deficit overhauled at the end of a season to win the title?
James DeGale tells ESPN he believes a rematch with George Groves is now more realistic than him fighting world super-middleweight champion Carl Froch
Which New Zealander has appeared in most first-class rugby matches?
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner
Brendan Rodgers has changed his tune slightly when it comes to Daniel Sturridge's injuries, with the striker's mishaps having progressed from "preventable" to "innocuous".