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Vunipola over-use worrying England fans

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England fans exasperated by Vunipola's status as the only player to start all four warm-up games

Billy Vunipola is set to be the only player to start all four of England’s World Cup warm-up Test matches after he was named in the line-up to face Italy this Friday at St James’ Park. 

The England coaching team have defended their over-reliance on Vunipola, saying the No8 needs to play regularly as he gets better with every game despite fears from fans of fatigue and injury. 

The Saracens star has had his fair share of injury troubles over the past couple of seasons, particularly with his knees and breaking an arm on multiple occasions. 

With England’s World Cup campaign starting less than three weeks, England fans on social media cannot understand why he is still being played. 

Regardless of what Eddie Jones and his coaching team have said, the consensus is that the fans would rather see the 26-year-old rested. 

(Continue reading below…)

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Vunipola is quite possibly England’s most influential player, as he has already proven over the past three games, and it is an unnecessary risk to play him against Italy. 

With Mark Wilson in the starting XV, who deputised for Vunipola last autumn when he was injured, and Matt Kvesic on the bench, fans would rather see one of those two given a chance at the back of the scrum in preparation for the World Cup. 

Unless Vunipola is expected to play every minute of every game in Japan, this seems like a sensible decision to assess the team in the absence of the bruising forward. This has been the reaction: 

Jones has stuck by this decision to give Vunipola as much game time as possible, and while many people do not agree, that will not be a concern for the coach. 

Throughout his tenure as the England boss he has backed himself in light of criticism and his decisions have invariably paid off.

This is an instance where the England fans will have to trust that the coaching team know what they are doing in terms of the management of one of their most prized players. 

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England fans exasperated by Vunipola's status as the only player to start all four warm-up games