Billy Vunipola could swap nations and play for hosts of next Rugby World Cup - Ruck

Billy Vunipola could swap nations and play for hosts of next Rugby World Cup

Former England coach Eddie Jones has expressed his desire for England rugby star Billy Vunipola to potentially join the Wallabies in the future.

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With Australia set to host the 2027 Rugby World Cup, Vunipola could be a legitimate addition to their squad ahead of the tournament.

Players are eligible to represent the nations of their birth after a three-year stand-down period, and Vunipola, who was born in Sydney, fits this criteria.

Having already earned 75 caps for England since his debut in 2013, Vunipola has been a key figure in England’s recent World Cup campaigns, including the 2019 final and the third-place finish in the 2023 tournament in France.

Vunipola’s last appearance for England was during the 2023 Rugby World Cup, meaning he would be eligible to play for the Wallabies in 2026, when he will be 34 years old. Despite concerns about his age, Vunipola’s upcoming move to France could provide him with the opportunity to rejuvenate his career.

The trend of players finding success in their later years after moving to France for reduced schedules and warmer climates is well-documented, with examples such as England’s Jonny Wilkinson, who went on to win multiple European Cups with Toulon.

Currently playing alongside his brother Mako at Saracens, Vunipola is expected to depart for Montpellier, as confirmed by Saracens’ director of rugby Mark McCall.

“I don’t want to talk without them having completely finalised their plans. It wouldn’t be fair given what they have done for the club but like I said they are coming towards the end of their time with us,” McCall said.

Updated 2027 Rugby World Cup draw is good news for England and Steve Borthwick

The men’s Rugby World Cup 2027 in Australia will feature 24 teams after the World Rugby Council approved historic reimagination of the competition format, window and timing.

The new format will feature six pools of four teams, with a round of 16 added prior to the quarter-finals.

This will enable the tournament window to be reduced from seven to six weeks, while promoting a rhythm that builds momentum across the pool phase and respects the same minimum number of rest days between matches as at France 2023.

If the 2027 Rugby World Cup Draw was made tomorrow, this is what the Pools may look like (based on rankings)

2027 Rugby World Cup draw (Current rankings)


  • South Africa
  • Japan
  • Georgia
  • Hong Kong
Siya Kolisi, Captain of South Africa celebrates after the Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and South Africa at Stade De France, Paris on 29 October 2023 (Photo: Micah Crook/PPAUK)


  • Ireland
  • Fiji
  • Samoa
  • Chile
James Lowe of Ireland during the Autumn Nations Cup match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on November 21 2020. – PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK