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Billy Vunipola slammed for being ‘out of shape’ in England loss


“There was no way he was ready for international rugby.”

Matt Williams has criticised Billy Vunipola for being “out of shape” following England’s shock loss to Scotland in the Six Nations on Saturday.

Scotland claimed their first victory at Twickenham since 1983 and were largely dominant for the duration of the 80 minutes, despite ultimately winning by just five points.

A lack of game time was a reason for concern for Eddie Jones’ men ahead of the game, with England’s five starting Saracens players having not played a competitive game of rugby since early December.

Vunipola was arguably the most off-colour Saracens player, prompting Virgin Media pundit Williams to seriously question the number eight’s fitness.

“We have to say that the Saracens players, who dropped to the second division in England, weren’t at the races. They weren’t at the races.

“Vunipola, if we didn’t know the pubs were closed, you’d swear he’d been in one. He was out of shape. There was no way he was ready for international rugby.

“Owen Farrell, one of the best 10s in the world, was way off the mark. Even the great [Maro] Itoje gave away a lot of penalties,” Williams commented.

“They smashed the tournament wide open.”

Scotland controlled both possession and territory in the Calcutta Cup clash, with England seemingly more than happy to just kick the ball back to their opponents whenever they found themselves in possession.

While it certainly wasn’t England’s best game, the Australian pundit praised the Scots for their all-round performance.


“I don’t want to take anything away from Scotland today. They deserve all the credit and that has smashed the tournament wide open.

“England aren’t going to get a Grand Slam. France will be celebrating and Ireland will be thinking, ‘That’s a possibility now’. It’s opened the tournament up completely,” Williams said.

England have the ideal chance to get their championship back on track next weekend when they welcome Italy to London, while Scotland will take on Wales in Edinburgh.

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