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Mako Vunipola selection for Saracens causes major controversy

Mako Vunipola selection for Saracens causes major controversy
Saracens and England prop Mako Vunipola

Mako Vunipola’s selection for Saracens against Bath this weekend has raised alarm bells as it counters an agreement between the RFU and the Premiership.

The Professional Game Agreement (PGA), which was signed in 2016 states “Those [players] who play throughout the Six Nations, and pass a threshold of minutes played, will have one weekend off in the four weeks following the competition.”

But the prop has played every game for Saracens since England’s Six Nations campaign.

It’s an issue that has been raised by the Guardian newspaper, who contacted the RFU for clarification, with the paper writing “in order to get the mandatory rest period, a player will have had to play in all five Six Nations matches and for at least 80% of the total aggregated minutes. That applies to loose head prop Vunipola on both counts.”

Vunipola came off the bench in Saracens 24-11 win over Harlequins on March 24th, a week after England’s final Six Nations game against Ireland at Twickenham.

He also started in the club’s Champions Cup 30-19 defeat to Leinster on April 1st, followed by the 63-13 win at Northampton last weekend.

In contrast to Vunipola, Maro Itoje has been left out of the Saracens squad this weekend, having also met the rest requirements.

The Guardian article states “it is understood the RFU do not have an issue with Vunipola playing against Bath”, highlighting the fact that Vunipola went on holiday to Tenerife in the aftermath of the Six Nations and it is because of this, along with the fact Saracens don’t play next week that Vunipola has been chosen.

SOURCE: Guardian

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Mako Vunipola selection for Saracens causes major controversy