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Mako Vunipola ruled out of Autumn Nations Cup final

(Photo by PA)

England have suffered a setback on the eve of their Autumn Nations Cup final against France after Mako Vunipola was ruled out by an achilles problem. Vunipola sustained the injury against Wales last Saturday and has been unable to recover in time for Sunday’s Twickenham showdown.


Ellis Genge is promoted from the bench into the starting XV, with Joe Marler filling the vacancy among the replacements. Attack coach Simon Amor said: “Mako picked up an injury in last week’s game. We’ve given him every opportunity to recover for this one but unfortunately he hasn’t made it.”

Vunipola had re-established himself as England’s first-choice loosehead prop after Marler missed the start of the autumn because of a knee injury, with Genge now second in the revised pecking order for a position where England have genuine depth.

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Dylan Hartley and Jamie Roberts talk Autumn Nations Cup
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Dylan Hartley and Jamie Roberts talk Autumn Nations Cup

“It’s disappointing to lose any player. In Ellis Genge and Joe Marler, we have got two outstanding looseheads there. They’ve trained well this week,” Amor said.

“Ellis is a real bowling ball in terms of his carries, so he’ll bring that aggression with the ball. He’s a very destructive scrummager and he brings a real energy to the team. He’s a great one to bring in.”

ENGLAND (revised vs France, Sunday)
15. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 46 caps)
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 45 caps)
13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 33 caps)
12. Owen Farrell (C) (Saracens, 87 caps)
11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 60 caps)
10. George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 71 caps)
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 103 caps)
1. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 22 caps)
2. Jamie George (Saracens, 53 caps)
3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 39 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 42 caps)
5. Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 68 caps)
6. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 27 caps)
7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 21 caps)
8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 55 caps)


16. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 25 caps)
17. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 71 caps)
18. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 7 caps)
19. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 3 caps)
20. Ben Earl (Bristol Bears, 7 caps)
21. Dan Robson (Wasps, 6 caps)
22. Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 2 caps)
23. Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 4 caps)


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