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4/5 England Without Vunipola For 6 Nations

England have suffered a major injury blow ahead of the 6 Nations after Billy Vunipola was ruled out of the tournament after fracturing his forearm while playing for Saracens in the European Champions Cup. Vunipola, who only recently returned to action after a serious knee injury which cost him his place on the Lions tour to New Zealand last summer, was expected to be named in Eddie Jones’ squad later in the week but initial estimates are that he’ll be out for around 10 weeks.

England, who begin their title defence in Italy in three weeks’ time, are the 4/5 favourites with William Hill and Bet365 to win the title for a third successive year. Vunipola’s absence could open the door for Bath 20-year-old Zach Mercer at No.8 – although Jones may prefer to go with Exeter’s Sam Simmonds for the role.

All odds quoted are subject to change