Mako Vunipola: England prop self-isolating as coronavirus precaution and will miss Wales match
"He is not sick, but it is a precaution," says RFU spokesman; Marler and George loosehead options for Six Nations clash at Twickenham on Saturday
Last Updated: 03/03/20 7:05pm
Mako Vunipola will miss England's Six Nations match with Wales on Saturday as he is self-isolating as a coronavirus precaution after returning to England from Tonga via Hong Kong.
The Saracens prop missed the 24-12 win over Ireland on February 23 after travelling to Tonga for undisclosed family reasons, but was set to return to the fold after being included in an extended 34-man training squad on Monday.
However, travellers returning from areas where the virus is prevalent, Hong Kong being one, are being asked to self-isolate if they have symptoms. It is believed Vunipola has shown no symptoms of the illness, with his absence from the England set-up a precaution.
"Mako is not in camp on medical grounds," an RFU spokesperson said. "He is not sick, but it is a precaution."
Vunipola's absence means Joe Marler and Ellis Genge will be loosehead options at Twickenham for England head coach Eddie Jones this weekend.
Quizzed on whether the 29-year-old would play any further part in the 2020 Six Nations, forwards coach Matt Proudfoot added: "We will take it week by week."
"We were excited to have him back, he is a great presence and a very experienced player, but we have great depth in our looseheads and they have been playing well,
"We will give the guys a go who were there. Mako is a world-class player, but the guys have been doing a great job."