Rugby legend Jacques Burger insists England would have been a different animal if their key powerhouse number eight Billy Vunipola had been fit for the championship.
Burger was a teammate with Vunipola at Saracens where together they formed an incredible back-row that helped the London club win a truckload of trophies.
England’s defeat against Ireland at Twickenham today was their first defeat on home turf since the Rugby World Cup, the first time they’ve lost three back-to-back Six Nations matches since 2006 and also resulted in them finishing fifth for the first time in competitions 18-year history.
The back-row was again an issue with Sam Simmonds, who was starting at number eight, making little or no headway.
And Burger believes Vunipola would’ve transformed the England XV:
England would’ve been a different animal have Big Bill been fit for the 6 Nations. I know one player doesn’t make a team but they do lack a bit of carrying power in the back row. #rbs6nations
— Jacques Burger (@Nabasboer) March 17, 2018
He tweeted: “England would’ve been a different animal have Big Bill (Billy Vunipola) been fit for the 6 Nations.
“I know one player doesn’t make a team but they do lack a bit of carrying power in the back row.”
The back-row was an area where Eddie Jones’ men struggled from day one but things only got worse after Sam Underhill was ruled out for the season.