Statement: Luke Cowan-Dickie Gives Latest on his Montpellier transfer - Page 4 of 5 - Ruck

Statement: Luke Cowan-Dickie Gives Latest on his Montpellier transfer

#4. Billy Vunipola

Billy Vunipola of Saracens on the break during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final Match between Leicester Tigers and Saracens at Twickenham Stadium on 18 June 2022. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

Despite having not featured in Steve Borthwick’s plans since the former Leicester Tigers Head Coach took the reigns with England, Billy Vunipola is always a worthwhile asset for a squad to have during a long competition.

However, the Saracen’s chances of an England return wore ever thinner after he suffered a knee injury in mid-April. In an eerily similar style to that of Jonny Gray, Vunipola was stretchered off the pitch, as he came down hard on his knee against La Rochelle, in the Heineken Champions Cup.


Vunipola has been confirmed to be written out of Mark McCall’s plans for the rest of Saracens’ season, with the powerhouse number-eight set to miss the 2023 Gallagher Premiership Play-Offs.

It was a sorry sight for Sarries fans, as their back-rower was forced into an early exit, during the first half of Saracens quarter-final defeat to the French flyers.

Billy Vunipola of England in possession ahead of Kazuki Himeno of Japan during the Autumn International Series match between England and Japan at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on Saturday 12th November 2022 | Photo: James Fearn/PPAUK.

Thankfully for Vunipola, it has been reported that after undergoing surgery, he should be fit ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

However, given Borthwick’s early tendency to overlook the Number Eight, and an extended time on the side-line hindering Vunipola’s match-fitness, it is becoming increasingly unlikely for Billy to make a Rugby World Cup return.

Yet as we know, injuries can happen at any time, and a Vunipola-sized reinforcement could well bolster a depleting squad in the latter stage of the competition.