Mako Vunipola and Nick Isiekwe ruled out of England's autumn Tests
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 18/10/18 6:13am
Saracens duo Mako Vunipola and Nick Isiekwe will miss England's autumn Test series after picking up injuries.
Vunipola is set for six weeks lay-off due to a calf tear, while Isiekwe will be out for eight weeks following an ankle sprain.
Vunipola becomes England's fourth loosehead missing ahead of the autumn internationals. Joe Marler has retired from Test rugby, while Leicester's Ellis Genge, Bath's Beno Obano and Wasps' Matt Mullan are all sidelined with long-term knee problems.
The news comes as a blow to England coach Eddie Jones, who is already set to be without another Vunipola, Billy, who faces a period of recovery following a broken arm.
England are now without 16 players ahead of the upcoming autumn series.
"Mako's got a calf injury, so it looks like it's going to be around six weeks," said Saracens' rugby director Mark McCall. "It's a tear in his calf, it doesn't require surgery.
"Nick (Isiekwe) will be around eight weeks, it's a syndesmosis injury of his ankle.
"That doesn't require surgery either, and it will be eight weeks."
Head coach Jones will therefore have to hand someone a full debut in the first autumn Test, against South Africa at Twickenham on Saturday, November 3.
Exeter Chiefs' Alec Hepburn has one cap as a replacement, while his club-mate Ben Moon and Gloucester's Val Rapava Ruskin will now be England's other main options at loosehead prop.
Nathan Hughes could yet become another casualty for England's autumn, with the Wasps number eight facing a reconvened disciplinary hearing.
#Followtherose this autumn as all of England's Tests are live on Sky Sports throughout November and the series starts on with Saturday, November 3 against South Africa before clashes against New Zealand, Japan and Australia.