Six Nations 2014: England No8 Billy Vunipola to miss rest of championship
Six Nations 2014: England number eight Billy Vunipola is ruled out of the rest of the championship due to injury
Billy Vunipola will miss the rest of the Six Nations championship due to injury, Stuart Lancaster has confirmed.
The England number eight was forced off during the second half of the Red Rose’s 13-10 victory over Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday.
The encouraging thing is we have got Ben Morgan
And Lancaster confirmed the Saracens man had suffered ankle ligament damage and wouldn’t play any further part in England’s title bid.
“It is a blow as Billy has had a good Six Nations but he is young and will be back,” said Lancaster.
“The encouraging thing is we have got Ben Morgan and other back rows such as Matt Kvesic and Tom Johnson, who are all competing hard for places.”
Elsewhere, France’s creative force Wesley Fofana is another big-name casualty in the third round of Six Nations fixtures.
Top 14 side Clermont Auvergne confirmed on their website that their centre suffered a fracture of the 11th rib on the right side against Wales on Friday night and is expected to be out three to four weeks, with the end of his championship probable.
After coming through a tough win over Italy, Scotland’s biggest casualty is Edinburgh prop Alasdair Dickinson, who picked up a calf injury after coming off the bench in the second half. The player is expected to rehabilitate under the care of the Edinburgh medical team.
Scotland team doctor James Robson believes there are no other injuries of concern among the match-day squad.
Ireland’s big injury concern from the weekend is flanker Peter O’Mahony after the Munster man picked up a hamstring strain against England.
Talisman Brian O’Driscoll suffered cramp in his calf, but the 35-year-old is expected to be fit to face Italy in Dublin on 8 March, which would see him set a new record for Test caps with 140 from his time with Ireland and the British & Irish Lions.
Wales still have concerns over Ospreys lock Alun Wyn Jones who was ruled out of the clash with France suffering a foot infection with severe swelling.
It is unknown whether Jones will be fit to face England in two-weeks.
Warren Gatland is already short of available options with Ian Evans suspended, Bradley Davies already ruled out and Ryan Jones still coming back from injury.
It means England-born, charity beard-sporting Scarlets lock Jake Ball could win his third cap after impressing against France.