"Bad news for Dombrandt" - Billy Vunipola's surprise England recall set to the confirmed - Ruck

“Bad news for Dombrandt” – Billy Vunipola’s surprise England recall set to the confirmed

Billy Vunipola’s potential recall to the England squad for the World Cup training in June hinges on his recovery progress from a knee injury.

If he is on track with his rehabilitation, the strong number 8 will likely be included in the squad ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Zach Mercer, who currently plays in France, is another player competing for the same position as Vunipola.

However, according to the i, Vunipola recently had a conversation with Borthwick, who was present at Saracens’ victory over Northampton on Saturday.

This discussion has presented a potential opportunity for the 30-year-old to add to his 68 international caps.

Advertisement

Vunipola addressed rumours of a previous row with Borthwick, when the latter was an England assistant, in an interview with the Sunday Times, saying: “It came at a time when we’d been in camp for a long time.

“We didn’t really have a fall-out, we had different ideas and I was young and immature and what I said came out the wrong way.

“For people to say that this was the reason why Steve dropped me is not correct. I wasn’t killing it last autumn [when he was left out by Eddie Jones] and I realised that I simply needed to get better.”

“Integral” – 5 surprise players who could be named in Steve Borthwick’s 55-man England squad

Below are some players who were not involved in the Six Nations but have the potential to strengthen England’s squad.

#1. Joe Launchbury – Harlequins

The 70-times-capped, 6ft5in and 126kg England lock returns to Harlequins this summer having originally joined the Harlequins Academy as a 15-year-old playing for affiliate clubs Worthing and Horsham, staying with Quins until the age of 18 when he moved to Wasps.

Earning his Premiership debut as a teenager, Launchbury was named the Premiership’s Young Player of the Year award for the 2012/13 season.

The 31-year-old went on to establish himself as one of the premier locks in the country, becoming one of the most capped second rows in English history and going on to be named Wasps’ Club captain.

CONTINUES ON PAGE TWO