"Replacement sorted"- Report reveals Vunipola will be next to depart Saracens - Ruck

“Replacement sorted”- Report reveals Vunipola will be next to depart Saracens

Saracens are showing interest in Newcastle Falcons’ promising fly-half Louie Johnson, while Manu Vunipola is reportedly poised to depart the North London club this summer, as reported by Rugby Pass.

Hailing from Carlisle and aged 20, Johnson has emerged as a standout talent at Kingston Park. His performances for England U20s have caught the eye, and his versatility extends to playing full-back and inside centre. With 12 appearances and one try this season for the Falcons, Johnson has demonstrated his worth on the field.

A product of the Newcastle senior academy, Johnson made his debut in the Premiership Cup defeat against Northampton in March 2022. Last April, he committed to the club by extending his contract for another season.

Now, Saracens have set their sights on Johnson, potentially dealing another blow to the Falcons, who are grappling with challenges. Additionally, the departure of flanker Guy Pepper, who showcased his skills for England A recently, to Bath this summer, further compounds the woes for the Premiership’s bottom-ranked club.

Four players who’ve been blacklisted by England boss Steve Borthwick

Rumour has it that Head Coach Borthwick has shifted focus from a number of aging stars, who have disclosed their plans for next season.

Zach Mercer

 Mercer, has declared that he’s taking a break from England duty for the time being, expressing his disappointment at being excluded from the upcoming Six Nations Championship squad.

Mercer said: “I’ve been open with Steve, I’ve told him my opinions on it. I thought I haven’t really been given a crack which is what I feel like, to not even be given a game to try and prove myself is tough.

“I just don’t feel like he values what I can offer as a player and that’s me being honest, I don’t think he values what I can bring.

“Obviously I don’t fit into the system that he wants to run and, whether I agree with that or not, it is what it is.

“My focus now is on Gloucester and England can take a step aside for the moment.”

Borthwick response:

“Zach and I had a conversation last week. We’ve had a number of conversations over the last couple of weeks with Zach since he’s come back from injury.

“We’ve highlighted areas where players have done well and the areas where they bring a point of difference. It’s a competitive arena.

“And [we highlight] areas where we want them to develop them and add to their game. That’s the same conversation I had with Zach.

“When I’m talking to a player, I’m basing it in objectivity. I’m basing it on targets for them to go after, and then we can shape a shared understanding of what we’re seeing.

“Granted, sometimes as a coach you want something specific in a team, I’m always looking at all the coaches and all the players that are able to provide that.”