England's Six Nations hopes dealt a blow after star back row Billy Vunipola ruled out for three months
Billy Vunipola has been ruled out of the Six Nations after he underwent surgery on Sunday on the knee injury he sustained in England's 27-14 victory over Argentina this weekend, with the No 8 expected to miss the next four months.
The Saracens back-row was replaced by Teimana Harrison in the 39th minute of the Twickenham encounter after he suffered the injury in a ruck as England tried to defend their line from an Argentinean onslaught that eventually led to their first try of the match.
The 24-year-old attempted to carry on, but when he got back to his feet he was in obvious pain and an immediate decision was taken to replace him, with Vunipola eventually requiring a cart to take him off their field.
He underwent surgery earlier today and is expected to miss the next four months, which not only rules him out of next Saturday’s Test with Australia that could cap a year unbeaten under head coach Eddie Jones, but also the entire Six Nations campaign in February and March next year.
The news is a huge blow to Jones’s plans given that Vunipola has been England’s best performer in 2016, and the matter is compounded by the injury that kept Wasps No 8 Nathan Hughes out of Saturday’s victory, although he could return in time for the weekend.
Vunipola took to Twitter on Saturday night to pray for good news on Sunday, but it was the complete opposite and England are expected to provide an update on his condition on Sunday night.
“Not quite how I planned my day to turn out, but great win by the lads and here's to a positive scan tomorrow,” he wrote.
(© Independent News Service)
Independent News Service