Billy Vunipola admits he would play fewer games for less money

Billy Vunipola has played 34 times for England since making his debut in 2013. Julian Finney/Getty Images

England No.8 Billy Vunipola has revealed he would take a pay cut to play less rugby in an attempt to reduce the risk of "burning out".

Vunipola, 24, was ruled out for four months on Sunday after injuring his knee during Saracens' 41-13 defeat of Sale.

His latest injury is another setback in his career which has been blighted by recent fitness troubles over the past year including forcing him to miss the most recent Lions tour.

"I didn't enjoy being on the surgery table twice in one year and that's supposed to be deemed as normal," Vunipola said on BBC Radio 5 Live's Rugby Union podcast before his latest injury.

"Kids want to play rugby because it's fun, but they also need to know that it's tough, and it's normal to have surgery at 25 because you're so worn down.

"I'm not complaining, I don't want more money, I just want people to understand that having surgery is not fun and it's not fun being injured."

Asked if he would take a pay cut for five games less a season, Vunipola responded: "I'm not sure [if players would go along with that] but if someone said that to me, I'd say yes.

"It gets to a point when you are just done, and you can't control when your knee goes out or your shoulder comes out.

"That was the weirdest feeling I've ever had in my life, not being able to control that and prevent it from happening.

"So something probably needs to change, or the players will just burn out."

Vunipola is estimated to return mid-January which is likely to leave him with just two matches to prove his fitness before England's Six Nations opener against Italy in Rome on Feb. 4.

England coach Eddie Jones expressed his disappointment on Monday night that he will be without Vunipola for some time.

"We are exceptionally disappointed for him personally," Jones said.

"He has had a tough run of late. We are disappointed for him, we are disappointed for Saracens and for England.

"We wish him the speediest of recoveries and we know he will be back better than ever. In the meantime we have a a lot of good players here."

England have announced that Chris Robshaw and Sam Underhill must undergo the Graduated Return to Play protocol after suffering concussion.

Brown (ankle) and Piers Francis (jaw) only took part in modified training on Monday, while Watson (knee) and Hartley (hand) did not train and Marler (rib) was involved in some rehab work.

The Press Association have contributed to this report.