Search

Rugby: Vunipola likely to miss France game

PUBLISHED: 13:31 08 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:31 08 October 2019

England's Billy Vunipola receiving medical attention during the 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool C match against Argentina at Tokyo Stadium.

England's Billy Vunipola receiving medical attention during the 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool C match against Argentina at Tokyo Stadium.

PA Wire/PA Images

Billy Vunipola appears increasingly unlikely to play any part in England's final World Cup group game against France.

Vunipola injured his left ankle in Saturday's bonus-point victory over Argentina and, after repeatedly receiving treatment on the pitch, was withdrawn at half-time and has undergone a scan.

While refusing to rule him out of the climax to Pool C against France, attack coach Scott Wisemantel revealed that the Saracens number eight has been doing recovery and rehabilitation work instead of training with the rest of Eddie Jones' squad.

Having already qualified for the quarter-finals, England are able to make a number of changes knowing Saturday's clash at International Stadium Yokohama decides only who finishes top of Pool C.

Vunipola, the team's most potent forward ball carrier, is the only player to have started all 12 of this year's Tests and his value to Jones means his fitness will not be gambled on.

"We're being overly cautious. If there's any risk he will not be 100 per cent he won't play, but I don't know the outcome of the scan. If there's any risk, we won't risk him," Wisemantel said.

Tom Curry slotted in at number eight when Vunipola limped off against Argentina, but Mark Wilson is favourite to fill the void before the knockout phase begins against Wales or Australia.

"We still have a luxury of carriers. Billy has been terrific for us, but he missed the autumn recently and Mark Wilson was the player of that series," scrum-half Ben Youngs said.

"Billy does suck in lots of defenders and he's a great carrier for us, but those other guys carry the ball differently because of the lines they pick. They are a bit more subtle about where they pop up.

You may also want to watch:

"We're blessed with some of the back rows that we have got, but we're very confident they'll carry us on to the front foot."

Meanwhile, Super Typhoon Hagibis, which had initially threatened Ireland's crunch fixture against Samoa in Fukuoka on Saturday, is now arrowing towards Tokyo, and could have a significant impact on the all-Six Nations clash.

Hagibis has escalated from a tropical storm into a Category 5 super typhoon with wind speeds estimated at 160mph in one of the most dramatic intensifications of any tropical cyclone since records began.

Such storms can fade and change direction and there have already been false alarms at this World Cup, but as it stands it is due to hit Tokoyo and Yokohama this weekend.

Any games cancelled due to weather problems are registered as scoreless draws and would have no impact on the final standings as England and France have already qualified for the quarter-finals.

"We have no control over the weather and we have to prepare for the game and see how it goes," Wisemantel said.

"Regarding the permutation around the game and shared points, we are just concentrating on playing to win.

"I live in a bubble and I don't know where the game would be played (if it is called off).

"One thing I have learnt in Japan is that they prepare for the worst and then usually it doesn't eventuate."

Latest East London Sports News

14:30

London Lions have confirmed that Londoner Sam Toluwase, who has been with the team for the last week, has been signed on for the season.

13:00

Matt Withers is joined by Jacob Ranson, Dan Bennett and Dave Evans to discuss the latest in east London football.

12:30

Ben Youngs has urged England to "fight right until the end" when they collide with Australia in Saturday's World Cup quarter-final at Oita Stadium.

09:29

Essex have announced that captain Ryan ten Doeschate has signed a one-year contract extension and will stay with the club until the end of the 2020 season.

09:00

New Leyton Orient head coach Carl Fletcher will use the Grimsby Town clash to assess the squad as he confirmed Ross Embleton will take charge.

Yesterday, 16:47

Newly-appointed head coach Carl Fletcher is excited and 'honoured' about his new challenge at Leyton Orient.

Yesterday, 13:15

Fans, former players and his former club's fans have praised the appointment of Carl Fletcher as the new Leyton Orient head coach.

Yesterday, 07:41

England have sprung a major surprise for Saturday's World Cup quarter-final against Australia by dropping George Ford and naming Owen Farrell at fly-half.

PROMOTED CONTENT

It's now just under a month since All Points East took over Victoria Park with two weekends of world-class music and a programme of free community events.

Curated by AEG Presents, All Points East is bringing an impressive line-up of multi-flavoured music to Victoria Park from May 24-26 and May 31-June 2.

Victoria Park - or 'Vicky Park' as the locals know it - has been the setting for many important events over the years.​ Here, we take a look at its unique cultural history.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists