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.
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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:
Great team but give Vunipola and Curry a break, not worth the risk. ?
Why is Billy V playing again? Just playing with fire!
— Adam Copperwheat (@A_Cops2) September 4, 2019
Why risk Billy again?
— Ben Makowiecki (@BenMakowiecki) September 4, 2019
Why on earth would you play Vunipola in this game ?? Is he trying to wear him out before we get to Japan
— Jk (@jk12_34) September 4, 2019
Great team but very surprised to see Billy V, George, Farrell & Curry being risked ! I understand the need for game-time but they are going to be so vital to our chances in Japan – would be awful to lose one of them so close ! https://t.co/GX4aa4bHHg
— Kate (@k_iddon) September 4, 2019
— Eddie Stephens? (@EddieStephensMD) September 4, 2019
— Ruben Steyne (@kihumuroruben) September 4, 2019
Billy Vunipola starting again, absolute madness. Amazing to see Kvesic on the bench which is a big surprise. https://t.co/R7oxV841KD
— For Rucks Sake (@RucksSake) September 4, 2019
Hoping billy comes off to keep him injury free and kvesic gets a decent amount of time on pitch.
— akawd40 (@akawd40) September 4, 2019
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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