Billy Vunipola ruled out of England’s clash against Australia

Thomas Waldrom joins Stuart Lancaster’s 34-man squad

Saracens’ Billy Vunipola in action against Northampton Saints at Allianz Park on Sunday. Photograph: Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Saracens’ Billy Vunipola in action against Northampton Saints at Allianz Park on Sunday. Photograph: Tony Marshall/Getty Images

 

England number eight Billy Vunipola has been replaced by Thomas Waldrom in the squad preparing for Saturday’s QBE International against Australia because of concussion.

Vunipola took a blow to the head in Saracens’ 31-24 Aviva Premiership defeat by Northampton on Sunday and has been ruled out of contention against the Wallabies.

The number eight was dropped for the 28-9 victory over Samoa at Twickenham – Ben Morgan started in his place – and was unlikely to figure in the climax to the autumn. “Billy will undergo the graduated return to play protocol at his club,” read a statement released by England.

Stuart Lancaster is “cautiously optimistic” that lock Courtney Lawes will be available for Saturday after hyper-extending his knee against Samoa,

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