Billy Vunipola has been called into the England team for the upcoming series against Australia. Head coach Eddie Jones believes that the powerful prop can help deliver the necessary power to win the series. Jones has also revealed that the team will go after the visitors physically following the recall of several players from the old guard.
Vunipola, who last played for England during the 2021 Six Nations, was named in the squad along with his brother Mako. Danny Care, who recently won 84 England caps, was also included in the team despite being part of the Barbarians squad.
In addition, eight uncapped players were included in the squad. Some of these include Henry Arundell, who plays for London Irish. Despite the team’s 52-21 loss to the Barbarians, Jones is still confident that his side can still win the series.
Team missing some vital players
Despite being veterans, Joe Marler and Ben Youngs were not included in the team. There was also no place for Max Malins, Elliot Daly, and Ben Earl in the 36-man squad. Many of the injured players, such as George Ford and Anthony Watson, did not recover in time for the series.
One of the most notable selections features Vunipola, the only specialist No 8 on the team. He was not considered for the game against the Barbarians due to an injury. The head coach revealed on Sunday that Vunipola was not available after suffering a concussion during the final of the English Premier League. Both England and Australia have six representatives in their travelling party.
With the team missing several key ball-carrying players, such as Kyle Sinckler and Manu Tuilagi, Vunipola is expected to play a vital role in the upcoming series against Australia. Jones believes that the prop can provide the necessary power to carry the ball in what will be a hostile environment.
The team will be travelling to Australia for the three-game series against the hosts, which will be different from the usual conditions they will encounter. Aside from the hostile environment, Jones also noted that his players would have to play another brand of rugby to win the series.
In the summer of 2021, Vunipola, along with his brother Mako, George Ford, and Jamie George, was initially left out of the training squad. Billy was then recalled during the season.
According to head coach Jones, Vunipola needed to find his best form during the Six Nations. The 29-year-old was inconsistent during the tournament and looked like a Test No 8 during the final of the English Premier League. Jones said that players who have had a lot of success often get carried away and don’t take the time to get back to work.
“When you have a lot of success, it takes a bit of a reminder to get them to sit back and focus on the next thing,” Jones said.
Some of the uncapped players included in the squad include Tommy Freeman and Fraser Dingwall from Northampton, Jack van Poort and Guy Porter from Leicester. Jack Walker and Patrick Schickerling were also part of the team that lost to the Barbarians.