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Saracens boss Mark McCall backs Vunipola brothers for England recall


Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall has backed Mako and Billy Vunipola to earn a recall to the England squad for the upcoming Six Nations.

Both Vunipola brothers were left out of Eddie Jones’ squad for the Autumn Nations Series, as the England head coach looked to blood some young talent with less than two years to go until the Rugby World Cup.

The elder Vunipola was omitted from the England squad even after Joe Marler and Ellis Genge were ruled out of the match against the Wallabies for Covid-related reasons, as uncapped 21-year-old Bevan Rood was selected to start at loosehead prop.

McCall was speaking to the Daily Mail about the Vunipola brothers’ recent England omission and argued that both have proven to Jones that they deserve to be included in their country’s Six Nations squad.

Mark McCall on the Vunipola brothers.

“They have shown good form over the three months since they weren’t selected. If Eddie wanted to get a reaction from them, he definitely got that,” McCall said.

“They are both playing well. They have committed to staying in England, which shows that they want to go to the World Cup.

“But the rest is not up to them. I’m not sure who is going to be involved (from Saracens), at the moment. We were surprised in the autumn.”

Eddie Jones has plenty of big decisions to make.

The Vunipola brothers are far from the only players causing Jones selection headaches at the moment, as the performances of George Ford have raised some very interesting questions in the fly-half position.

Ford was also left out of England’s Autumn Nations Squad, as Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell were selected ahead of him, but the Leicester Tigers fly-half has been in excellent form for his club.

Smith has also been playing well for Harlequins, and looked right at home in England’s starting team in games against Australia and South Africa, while Farrell is currently recovering from an ankle injury.

Farrell is expected to return to action later this month, but he is unlikely to be up to full speed by the start of the Six Nations and may find himself struggling to get into England’s starting team.

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