STATEMENT: Steve Borthwick confirms Vunipola won't be going to Rugby World Cup - Ruck

STATEMENT: Steve Borthwick confirms Vunipola won’t be going to Rugby World Cup

After England’s catastrophic defeat to Wales in Cardiff, there was more bad news for their fans in the post match press conference.

Head coach Steve Borthwick announced that Mako Vunipola, the experienced 80-cap Test front-row player, will not be part of the initial 33-man Rugby World Cup squad, which is set to be revealed on Monday.

“At this stage, Mako (Vunipola) is not going to be a fit enough state to be selected this Monday,” revealed Borthwick to Planet Rugby.

“I know the 33 will be announced on Monday but we also know that through the tournament changes will happen and that’s something we will always be monitoring.

“There was certainly a precedent set in prior World Cup preparations that where there’s injury, where there’s players with bumps and bruises, is that players from outside the 33 can can be part of it.

Mako Vunipola of Saracens during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final Match between Saracens and Sale Sharks at Twickenham Stadium on 27 May 2023. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

“Mako sent us a message this morning, wishing us all the best for the game today. There’s a number of changes that happen to the squad during a World Cup and we’re all well aware those happen.

“The average is one and a half changes per team so we know that’s going to be a factor. What we must do is focus very much on the players we have selected and I’m excited to announce those on Monday.”

“Blew his chance” – 5 England players who flopped against Wales

Below we look at five England players who did their selection hopes no favours.

#1. Max Malins

Telegraph 5/10: “Busy and willing, especially on the kick-chase and when attempting to inject momentum into messy attacks. Does he have the dynamism to be a Test wing?”

Planet Rugby 5/10: “Didn’t deal with the grubber through for the second try and just doesn’t offer a whole lot with ball in hand at this level. A smart player who reads the game well and has an eye for the try-line, but wasn’t really a factor here.”

Rugby Pass 5/10: “Back in favour for now after getting axed post the French humiliation, he twice teased with his threat in the opposition’s 22 in the first half, but there was no end product at the line and his display became undone by coughing up too many turnovers.”

Max Malins of England during the Summer Nations Series Rugby match between Wales and England at Principality Stadium on August 5, 2023 in Cardiff, Wales. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK