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Full extent of Mako Vunipola injury revealed by Saracens

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Unwanted England prop Mako Vunipola is set for a significant period on the sidelines as the full extent of his injury has been revealed by Saracens.

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Vunipola limped off with an ankle injury early in last weekend’s game against Leicester Tigers and the out-of-favour England prop now faces months out of the game.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall has confirmed that the 31-year-old will go under the knife on Monday to treat an ankle syndesmosis injury that will likely sideline him for eight to ten weeks.

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Back in the Game – RFU
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Back in the Game – RFU

Despite starting the second Test for the British & Irish Lions last summer, Eddie Jones cut the veteran prop from his England squad.

As a result Vunipola hasn’t played a minute of Test rugby since the tour. Mako and his No.8 brother Billy were the biggest victims of Jones’ new vision for England’s future, while Jamie George and Elliot Daly have been given reprieves on account of injury and form.

“A number of the senior players we felt were starting to tail off a little bit. We needed some more energy, some more drive,” said Jones when asked about the player cull that appears to have brought Vunipola Test career to a premature end. “I feel like we are in a really good position to use the next two years to establish a team that can challenge and win the World Cup in 2023.

“To me, it’s always about looking after now, but you’ve always got to have an eye to the future.

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“And it’s a judgement call, there’s no science to tell you this is right, this is wrong. But we feel like we’re in a good position.

“We’ve got four campaigns until the World Cup. Every campaign is important. Every campaign, we want to make sure we are moving in the right direction.”

England forwards coach Matt Proudfoot has said that the Saracens loosehead knows what he needs to do to get back into the squad.

“He is an incredible player and we think long and hard before we make selections,” explained Proudfoot. “Mako is right there. What Mako needs is to play, to play regularly, to put some performances back together which I think he has. So he is right in the pecking order. We think very long and hard about it and as we all know selection is Eddie’s prerogative.”

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