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Great Britain

England star Billy Vunipola’s Six Nations looks over as star suffers suspected broken arm for FOURTH time

PO BLOW

BILLY VUNIPOLA’S Six Nations looks over after he suffered a suspected broken arm for the FOURTH time.

The England No 8 was rushed to hospital for scans.

Vunipola could miss up to three months after lasting just five minutes of Saracens’ 27-24 win over Racing 92 on Sunday.

Club skipper Brad Barritt said: “It is very sad for Billy on the eve of the Six Nations.”

Vunipola, 27, will not be part of England’s 35-man squad that will head to Portugal for warm-weather training on Thursday.

In 2018, the 20st backrow cracked bones in both his arms on three separate occasions. He now has metal plates fusing bones together.

Coach Eddie Jones names his tournament squad today, with uncapped rookies Alex Dombrandt, of Harlequins, and Vunipola’s Sarries team-mate Ben Earl likely to step up.

Saracens coach Mark McCall said: “It looks like a suspected broken arm.”

But Barritt, a former England centre, added: “Billy will bounce back even better and he’ll have the support of his team.”

Jones is also calling up Northampton full-back George Furbank for a first look.

The 23-year-old scored in Saints’ brilliant 36-24 win in Lyon and he will provide competition for the No 15 shirt.

Elliot Daly is expected to be used more in the centres and on the wing.

Ben Curry is also being given another shot at joining brother Tom on the Test stage.

World Cup captain Owen Farrell will continue in his role but Jones has warned established stars there will be changes following last year’s tournament in Japan.

After losing to South Africa in the final in November, Jones said: “I tell you what happens to teams - they evolve.

“Some guys will lose desire, some guys will lose fitness, some guys will get injuries and there will be young guys coming through. So this team is finished now.”

England's Billy Vunipola is close to fulfilling coach Eddie Jones' prediction that is best number eight in the world
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