Legend insists England would have been different animal with their star man

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:

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.


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