Mako Vunipola is OUT of England’s Six Nations clash with Ireland on Sunday after the prop returned to Tonga for family reasons with Joe Marler on course to return to No 1 shirt
- Mako Vunipola will miss England’s showdown with Ireland in the Six Nations
- The prop has returned to Tonga due to family reasons and will be unavailable
- He started in England’s win over Scotland after being rested for the France loss
- The absence leaves Joe Marler on course for a return to the No 1 shirt on Sunday
England will be without Lions prop Mako Vunipola for the Six Nations showdown with unbeaten Ireland at Twickenham on Sunday, after he returned to Tonga for family reasons.
The 29-year-old veteran of 65 Test appearances started against Scotland at Murrayfield in the national team’s last championship outing 10 days ago, having been rested for the opener against France in Paris.
However, the country’s pre-eminent loosehead has been released from the training squad, leaving Joe Marler on course for a return to the No 1 shirt against the Irish.
Mako Vunipola is out of England’s clash with Ireland after returning to Tonga for family reasons
Eddie Jones has responded to the loss of the older Vunipola brother by calling up uncapped Bath prop Beno Obano to train with England and provide cover for Marler and the other established loosehead, Ellis Genge.
The 25-year-old suffered a savage knee injury while in camp with the Red Rose squad in May 2018 and was out of action for nine months, but he has been in fine form for his club this season and joins up with fellow Bath front-rowers Will Stuart and Tom Dunn.
Elsewhere, Jones has been able to include centres Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade – after groin and ankle injuries respectively – among the group of 33 players who will train at England’s Surrey HQ this week.
Tuilagi missed the clash with the Scots while Slade has been out of action since suffering his setback while playing for Exeter in December. The England team for Sunday’s high-stakes fixture is due to be named at 10.30am on Friday.
Joe Marler could be in line to replace Vunipola in the No 1 shirt against the Irish on Sunday
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