By NZ Herald

England brothers Mako and Billy Vunipola are reportedly in talks with several Super Rugby teams about joining the competition next year.

Both England internationals play club rugby for Saracens which will drop to the RFU Championship next year after they accepted they would not be able to get under the $14 million salary cap this season.

Saracens, who have won four of the past five Premiership titles, had already been docked 35 points, and fined $10m for failing to disclose player payments for the past three seasons.

Both Mako, 29, and Billy, 27, are in the final year of their current contracts with the club.

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The Rugby Paper is reporting the pair are attracting interest from Super Rugby sides for the 2021 season.

No. 8 Billy has played 50 tests for England and prop Mako has appeared 57 times for his country and also six tests for the British and Irish Lions. Both players started in last year’s Rugby World Cup final defeat to South Africa.

In January, New Zealand Rugby’s head of professional rugby Chris Lendrum said it was possible more high-profile players could seek a change of scenery Down Under following the Saracens fallout continues.

“It will be interesting to see now that they’re relegated what happens with some of their key players – their high wage players, their England players, and how the rest of the competition reacts,” Lendrum told the Herald.

“It [salary cap scandal] is not a situation I would ever see happening here, but if some of them are interested in coming out here and playing Super Rugby… we’ve got Joe Marchant playing at the Blues this year from Harlequins, our partner.

“We’re massively excited about Joe and you never know – maybe not in a Lions year next year but if someone else wants to come out and try their hand at Super Rugby we’d be really open to it.

“In those situations players have to drive it. Joe drove his decision to come here, just like James Haskell did seven or eight years ago because they want to try a different style of rugby in a different environment.”

This article first appeared on nzherald.co.nz and was republished with permission.

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