TRANSFER | Vunipola brothers eye up Super Rugby move
Could England’s Tongan brothers Billy and Mako Vunipola, pictured, be seen on the Investec Super Rugby scene next year?
That’s the question being asked in England where The Rugby Paper has reported the pair are attracting interest from Super Rugby sides wanting them next season.
The pair were both born down under, Billy, 27, in Sydney and Mako, 29, in Wellington, and qualified for England through residency by growing up in Wales.
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They have always intimated they wanted to play Super Rugby at some stage of their careers and have had sabbatical clauses in their past club contracts.
Neither brother has committed himself to next season when their Saracens side will be relegated to the Championship as a result of the salary cap scandal the club was caught up in.
Loosehead prop Mako Vunipola has appeared 57 times for England since making his Test debut in 2012 and he has played six Tests for the British & Irish Lions on their tours to Australia in 2013 and New Zealand in 2017. His club career started with 11 appearances for Clifton in 2009-10 before he spent a season with Bristol playing 40 games in 2010-11 after which he joined Saracens for whom he has made more than 155 appearances.
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No 8 Billy Vunipola has been out of action since January due to his fourth broken arm. He has played 50 Tests for England and more than 100 games for Saracens. His career started with Wasps in 2011. He played for them 41 times before joining Saracens in 2013. He was selected for England Under-20 in 2012.
Several Super Rugby sides have already enquired of them what their plans are for next season.
However, if they chose to move for next season it could have implications for consideration for their England places and also whether they would be available to tour South Africa with the British & Irish Lions in 2021.
Playing Super Rugby would mean they couldn’t play in the Six Nations and their potential selection for the Lions would be a decision for coach Warren Gatland and his selectors.