Vunipola tipped for England call-up

Billy Vunipola

Billy Vunipola

First published in Sport by

BILLY Vunipola is poised to follow Joe Launchbury into the England squad, according to Wasps boss Dai Young.

The man-mountain number eight was Man of the Match in Wasps’ home win against Sale, capping a fine individual performance with a delightful sidestep that took him around former England wing Mark Cueto.

It took Wasps forward almost 50m and led to the match-winning try.

Young said: “Billy was outstanding. He’s been in that vein for most of the season and it’s hard to believe he’s still a 20-year-old kid.

“He and Joe Simpson were the two leading lights but there are some good number eights and I’m not going to get into picking Stuart’s [Lancaster, England coach] squad for him. It’s a hard enough job to do with everybody chucking their two pennies worth in, but if he’s called on to perform he’s not going to let anyone down.”

However, Vunipola is the name on everybody’s lips at the moment and it will be difficult for England to ignore the 20-stone back rower for much longer.

Young said: “It’s going to take some really big performances from the number eights that have the jersey to keep him out. I believe he’s ready for it and I don’t believe it’s going to be too long before he’s putting on that England jersey.”

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