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Billy and Maco Vunapola may have played their last game for England.

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Post by majesticimperialman Tue 30 Nov 2021, 8:39 pm

It seem's like Billy and Maco V .may have played their last game for England, both player was dropped by Edie Jones for the AI and are coming to the of the contracts with Sarisans and are being touted with moves tp Beudo Beagles in France.

Both have been told by EJ that he is building a squad for 2023 RWC and any move to France could scupper any chance of playing for England again.

If you was Billy or Maco what would you do?

Would stay with sarries untill the RWC and hope too play for England? Or would you cut your losses and go for the big money now?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 30 Nov 2021, 9:57 pm

My main question is why do you bother?

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Post by Geordie Wed 01 Dec 2021, 9:29 am

They have been stalwarts of the team but hey we move on. Let them enjoy the payday and we have other options.

We've just blooded a 21 year old loosehead v South Africa!

And at 8...we have a variety of options...

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Post by dummy_half Wed 01 Dec 2021, 9:47 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:They have been stalwarts of the team but hey we move on. Let them enjoy the payday and we have other options.

We've just blooded a 21 year old loosehead v South Africa!

And at 8...we have a variety of options...

Geordie
Do you not think Mako would come back into the 6Ns or even next year's RWC squad if one of Marler or Genge was injured?

Also, while there are options at 8, are any of them as good as a fit and on form Billy V (obviously, the issue there is the fit and on form part, as his injury record isn't the best)?

Surely the issue is to pick the best team and squad for the upcoming tournaments, and if they make the squad better (which at their best they do), I'd be including them.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 01 Dec 2021, 10:12 am

You never know, with this new rule they could perhaps now play for Tonga.

https://www.skysports.com/rugby-union/news/12321/12478000/world-rugby-relaxes-eligibility-rules-to-allow-national-team-players-to-switch-countries



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Post by Guest Wed 01 Dec 2021, 10:41 am

LordDowlais wrote:You never know, with this new rule they could perhaps now play for Tonga.

https://www.skysports.com/rugby-union/news/12321/12478000/world-rugby-relaxes-eligibility-rules-to-allow-national-team-players-to-switch-countries



Or they might prefer to play for NZ or Aus where they were born....

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Post by Geordie Wed 01 Dec 2021, 10:54 am

dummy_half wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:They have been stalwarts of the team but hey we move on. Let them enjoy the payday and we have other options.

We've just blooded a 21 year old loosehead v South Africa!

And at 8...we have a variety of options...

Geordie
Do you not think Mako would come back into the 6Ns or even next year's RWC squad if one of Marler or Genge was injured?

Also, while there are options at 8, are any of them as good as a fit and on form Billy V (obviously, the issue there is the fit and on form part, as his injury record isn't the best)?

Surely the issue is to pick the best team and squad for the upcoming tournaments, and if they make the squad better (which at their best they do), I'd be including them.

1.Mako
Ok i rate mako very highly....but if he goes...then he goes.

We should have...
Genge, Marler, Rudd, Obano, and West (at Wasps who i rate very highly) all potentially fighting out for spots...not to mention one or two others coming through who "could" make faster progress, though possibly too soon for the WC 23.

If we have to rely on bringing Mako back then i fear for the future of the England team.

2. Billy V
When did we last see a fully fit, top form Billy? Its been a long time.
If we need an identikit replacement then Barbeary has declared he's now an 8.

But personally i prefer an more all action 8...Tom Willis, or Dombrandt who might not carry as destructively purely in close...but can offer so much more around the park...AND are lineout options...meaning you can play with your flank combo.....

Yes we should be looking to pick the best team...however you should always have one eye on the future....and now with a fairly strong settled side...we can look to introduce a new 8 etc.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 01 Dec 2021, 10:58 am

Maybe this is my misunderstanding of the new rule, but isn't this supposed to enable players who represented a tier 1 nation to have the opportunity to represent a tier 2 nation if they have the family/birth connection? Not going from tier 1 to tier 1?

However, looking quickly at a few recent articles, including the one LordDowlais attached, I don't see any mention of limiting this to tier 1 to tier 2. Does anyone have any insight? I admit to only skimming the articles.

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Post by lostinwales Wed 01 Dec 2021, 11:01 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:They have been stalwarts of the team but hey we move on. Let them enjoy the payday and we have other options.

We've just blooded a 21 year old loosehead v South Africa!

And at 8...we have a variety of options...

Jones wanted to regenerate the team and also is planning based on where things will be in 2023. Maybe he has decided he's not convinced that the brothers will be the best options in two years time given the wear and tear on Billy in particular.

This does raise questions over the other older players, which I guess means Lawes, Marler, Tuilagi, Youngs and May. I guess Lawes is offering leadership in the absence of Farrell and is playing better than ever, Marler is very good at what he does and options other than him and Genge are limited. Tuilagi is still a unique if fragile talent, Youngs is only now under threat from younger players and May offers experience in a very green back 3. All may be gone by 2023 but have a role to play now.

It is far from impossible that they will be back but for now the brothers are emergency reserves.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 01 Dec 2021, 11:04 am

The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:You never know, with this new rule they could perhaps now play for Tonga.

https://www.skysports.com/rugby-union/news/12321/12478000/world-rugby-relaxes-eligibility-rules-to-allow-national-team-players-to-switch-countries



Or they might prefer to play for NZ or Aus where they were born....

I'm just going by this quote from SKY Sports news.

International players such as England's Billy and Mako Vunipola could represent Tonga, as could New Zealand's Charles Piutau, who won the last of his 17 caps for the All Blacks in 2015, making him eligible to switch allegiance next year. wrote:

They must have relatives born in Tonga, and let be honest, it's not as though they would get into the New Zealand or Australia squad in three years time, but why let that get in the way of you trying to belittle me ? Rolling Eyes

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Post by Geordie Wed 01 Dec 2021, 11:17 am

lostinwales wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:They have been stalwarts of the team but hey we move on. Let them enjoy the payday and we have other options.

We've just blooded a 21 year old loosehead v South Africa!

And at 8...we have a variety of options...

Jones wanted to regenerate the team and also is planning based on where things will be in 2023. Maybe he has decided he's not convinced that the brothers will be the best options in two years time given the wear and tear on Billy in particular.

This does raise questions over the other older players, which I guess means Lawes, Marler, Tuilagi, Youngs and May. I guess Lawes is offering leadership in the absence of Farrell and is playing better than ever, Marler is very good at what he does and options other than him and Genge are limited. Tuilagi is still a unique if fragile talent, Youngs is only now under threat from younger players and May offers experience in a very green back 3. All may be gone by 2023 but have a role to play now.

It is far from impossible that they will be back but for now the brothers are emergency reserves.

Well look at every case individually.

Billy has been a shadow of the player we want for a long time.

Mako hasnt been on fire.

Lawes just played a great AI...and was captain.

Youngs looked better due to the greater onus on attack. Though i still would be looking to bring Quirke through...or one of the other kids now

Manu - ah...im ruthless but id let him go now. Focus on the likes of Marchant at 13. He played very well in his cameo in his actual position of outside centre. Im a huge fan of Manu and he would be one of the first names on my team...actually similar to Nowell...but i just cant justify building a side including players who you literally dont know if they will be fit or not from one week to the next. I mean hes out injured after a 10 m run scoring a try.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 01 Dec 2021, 11:18 am

doctor_grey wrote:Maybe this is my misunderstanding of the new rule, but isn't this supposed to enable players who represented a tier 1 nation to have the opportunity to represent a tier 2 nation if they have the family/birth connection?  Not going from tier 1 to tier 1?  

However, looking quickly at a few recent articles, including the one LordDowlais attached, I don't see any mention of limiting this to tier 1 to tier 2.  Does anyone have any insight?  I admit to only skimming the articles.

It's really intended to help the Pacific Island teams but there's nothing in the rules about Tier 1 or 2 so applies to everyone.

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Post by Guest Wed 01 Dec 2021, 12:41 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:You never know, with this new rule they could perhaps now play for Tonga.

https://www.skysports.com/rugby-union/news/12321/12478000/world-rugby-relaxes-eligibility-rules-to-allow-national-team-players-to-switch-countries



Or they might prefer to play for NZ or Aus where they were born....

I'm just going by this quote from SKY Sports news.



They must have relatives born in Tonga, and let be honest, it's not as though they would get into the New Zealand or Australia squad in three years time, but why let that get in the way of you trying to belittle me ? Rolling Eyes

What are you on about?! I was adding to the options available to them. They could turn out for Tonga, as you said, plus Aus (Billy) or NZ (Mako).

Talk about getting the wrong end of the stick Laugh

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 01 Dec 2021, 9:11 pm

The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:You never know, with this new rule they could perhaps now play for Tonga.

https://www.skysports.com/rugby-union/news/12321/12478000/world-rugby-relaxes-eligibility-rules-to-allow-national-team-players-to-switch-countries



Or they might prefer to play for NZ or Aus where they were born....

I'm just going by this quote from SKY Sports news.



They must have relatives born in Tonga, and let be honest, it's not as though they would get into the New Zealand or Australia squad in three years time, but why let that get in the way of you trying to belittle me ? Rolling Eyes

What are you on about?! I was adding to the options available to them. They could turn out for Tonga, as you said, plus Aus (Billy) or NZ (Mako).

Talk about getting the wrong end of the stick Laugh

They are more likely to turn out for Tonga as their dad was a Tongan international as were their uncles one of whom is the Tongan Minister for Sport. Despite their birth taking place in NZ or Australia I don't think they have any particular ties there nor are they likely to move their to enable their availability.

Whether they move on or not will depend on what exactly Eddie has said and just what deal Sarries are able to table. The loss of the England game bonuses can be a substantial drop in earnings. 

I don't see Eddie gutting all of his experienced players from the team but he does like to periodically refresh the side. There's a number of 8s and looseheads available to England and although no direct replacements in terms of style both Mako and Billy do have their weaknesses.

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Post by Guest Thu 02 Dec 2021, 8:50 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:You never know, with this new rule they could perhaps now play for Tonga.

https://www.skysports.com/rugby-union/news/12321/12478000/world-rugby-relaxes-eligibility-rules-to-allow-national-team-players-to-switch-countries



Or they might prefer to play for NZ or Aus where they were born....

I'm just going by this quote from SKY Sports news.



They must have relatives born in Tonga, and let be honest, it's not as though they would get into the New Zealand or Australia squad in three years time, but why let that get in the way of you trying to belittle me ? Rolling Eyes

What are you on about?! I was adding to the options available to them. They could turn out for Tonga, as you said, plus Aus (Billy) or NZ (Mako).

Talk about getting the wrong end of the stick Laugh

They are more likely to turn out for Tonga as their dad was a Tongan international as were their uncles one of whom is the Tongan Minister for Sport. Despite their birth taking place in NZ or Australia I don't think they have any particular ties there nor are they likely to move their to enable their availability.

Whether they move on or not will depend on what exactly Eddie has said and just what deal Sarries are able to table. The loss of the England game bonuses can be a substantial drop in earnings. 

I don't see Eddie gutting all of his experienced players from the team but he does like to periodically refresh the side. There's a number of 8s and looseheads available to England and although no direct replacements in terms of style both Mako and Billy do have their weaknesses.


Yes, definitely agree that Tonga is the most likely option. I was merely stating their eligibility options going forward should they have 3 years of no England caps. Not sure I was belittling LD though?! Headscratch

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 02 Dec 2021, 10:26 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:Maybe this is my misunderstanding of the new rule, but isn't this supposed to enable players who represented a tier 1 nation to have the opportunity to represent a tier 2 nation if they have the family/birth connection?  Not going from tier 1 to tier 1?  

However, looking quickly at a few recent articles, including the one LordDowlais attached, I don't see any mention of limiting this to tier 1 to tier 2.  Does anyone have any insight?  I admit to only skimming the articles.

It's really intended to help the Pacific Island teams but there's nothing in the rules about Tier 1 or 2 so applies to everyone.
Thanks. Thought I missed that.

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Post by Geordie Thu 02 Dec 2021, 10:36 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:You never know, with this new rule they could perhaps now play for Tonga.

https://www.skysports.com/rugby-union/news/12321/12478000/world-rugby-relaxes-eligibility-rules-to-allow-national-team-players-to-switch-countries



Or they might prefer to play for NZ or Aus where they were born....

I'm just going by this quote from SKY Sports news.



They must have relatives born in Tonga, and let be honest, it's not as though they would get into the New Zealand or Australia squad in three years time, but why let that get in the way of you trying to belittle me ? Rolling Eyes

What are you on about?! I was adding to the options available to them. They could turn out for Tonga, as you said, plus Aus (Billy) or NZ (Mako).

Talk about getting the wrong end of the stick Laugh

They are more likely to turn out for Tonga as their dad was a Tongan international as were their uncles one of whom is the Tongan Minister for Sport. Despite their birth taking place in NZ or Australia I don't think they have any particular ties there nor are they likely to move their to enable their availability.

Whether they move on or not will depend on what exactly Eddie has said and just what deal Sarries are able to table. The loss of the England game bonuses can be a substantial drop in earnings. 

I don't see Eddie gutting all of his experienced players from the team but he does like to periodically refresh the side. There's a number of 8s and looseheads available to England and although no direct replacements in terms of style both Mako and Billy do have their weaknesses.

Correct....

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Post by Rugby Fan Thu 02 Dec 2021, 10:50 am

Saracens are probably in a bit of a fix now. By all accounts, the team was looking to offer the brothers a lower deal. They must have been banking on the pair still getting England bonuses, and needing to stay in England. You couldn't increase the offer meaningfully now, without leaving other squad members short.

It's hard for the Vunipolas to know where they stand. For all the talk about a cull four years ago, and how difficult it is to get back in the team, few player were actually unceremoniously dumped. Injuries and personality clashes were more important factors. There was already a U-turn over Jamie George, and might have been one over Mako, so the door doesn't seem firmly shut.

Ben Youngs apparently told Ellis Genge that the England camp this autumn was one of the happiest he had taken part in. Whether that's mainly down to new coaches, new faces, new gameplan or the victories, it makes a change from the gloomy, dour feel of the last Six Nations. If Jones feels that's a consequence of reducing the Saracens core, then he might be reluctant to bring them all back into the squad even if they are playing the house down.

Which all means the Vunipolas are not really in control of their England destiny. Billy has sustained greater injuries over his career, so would be weighing up his financial future more than Mako.

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Post by lostinwales Thu 02 Dec 2021, 10:58 am

Rugby Fan wrote:Saracens are probably in a bit of a fix now. By all accounts, the team was looking to offer the brothers a lower deal. They must have been banking on the pair still getting England bonuses, and needing to stay in England. You couldn't increase the offer meaningfully now, without leaving other squad members short.

It's hard for the Vunipolas to know where they stand. For all the talk about a cull four years ago, and how difficult it is to get back in the team, few player were actually unceremoniously dumped. Injuries and personality clashes were more important factors. There was already a U-turn over Jamie George, and might have been one over Mako, so the door doesn't seem firmly shut.

Ben Youngs apparently told Ellis Genge that the England camp this autumn was one of the happiest he had taken part in. Whether that's mainly down to new coaches, new faces, new gameplan or the victories, it makes a change from the gloomy, dour feel of the last Six Nations. If Jones feels that's a consequence of reducing the Saracens core, then he might be reluctant to bring them all back into the squad even if they are playing the house down.

Which all means the Vunipolas are not really in control of their England destiny. Billy has sustained greater injuries over his career, so would be weighing up his financial future more than Mako.

This has been evident even from sitting at home watching them play this Autumn. I think the Summer games did also feel very different (and positive) and it does feel that Genge in particular has played a part in this. I have been thinking for a while that Genge's importance off the pitch may well be contributing to his perceived importance on it, although it was unfortunate we missed him in the two biggest games.

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Post by yappysnap Thu 02 Dec 2021, 11:41 pm

Yea the vibe from the players definitely feels healthier, obviously winning helps that but I wonder how much is also some of the coaching staff changing and just the change of rules re covid etc.

Wasn't Englands now ex defense coach John Mitchell in hot water for falling out with players in SA and in the UK?

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Post by nlpnlp Sun 05 Dec 2021, 12:43 am

So Englnd play a no7 at no 8 and he does very little to cement his place in that position. The 2 best no 8s at club level for the lat 2 years start on the bench. Hmmm? who do I think is going to be England's starting no 8 in the 6 Nations??? Anyone want to bet that it isn't Billy?

I can understand Mako being dropped - he cannot scrummage and everyone knows that. He is great in the loose - possibly the best prop in the loose in the world. Bt if he is going to get penalised at every scrum, then I struggle to see how you can pick him Barring Joe Marler going absent again, then i think we have possibly seen the last of Mako.

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Post by lostinwales Sun 05 Dec 2021, 11:16 am

It probably is wild speculation but you see the Billy brainfart from the weekend and can't help but wonder if his head is in the right place.

The AI back row selection seemed to be driven by trying to get all of the best backrow players on the pitch, plus getting Dombrandt up to speed.

For the 6N I would bet on either Dombrandt or Curry starting at 8.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Sun 05 Dec 2021, 11:25 am

Alfie Barbeary has put in 2 more than solid performances coming off the bench the last 2 weeks. It will be interesting to see if he can gradually get back to his barnstorming best and put his hand up for the 6Ns.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 06 Dec 2021, 4:48 am

I can see both being back involved in the 6N. It's not unlike Eddie to have told both that he was giving them the AI off and to come back fresh and firing.

End of the day, they are both still excellent options to have in the squad so why keep them out?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 06 Dec 2021, 7:32 am

lostinwales wrote:It probably is wild speculation but you see the Billy brainfart from the weekend and can't help but wonder if his head is in the right place.

The AI back row selection seemed to be driven by trying to get all of the best backrow players on the pitch, plus getting Dombrandt up to speed.

For the 6N I would bet on either Dombrandt or Curry starting at 8.

Can Barbeary claim a starting shirt at his own club first? That'll be the question, Wasps have some good options there, particularly at 8 with Tom Willis.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 06 Dec 2021, 8:35 am

Barbeary has already been in the England setup too of course. That alongside Jones input saying he'd like him to be an 8 makes me think he'll be in by 6ns. He's miles better than Willis.

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