Rugby / rugby league
Billy Vunipola: Saracens forward out of England's fall internationals
Saracens number eight Billy Vunipola will miss England's fall internationals in the wake of breaking his left arm in their Champions Cup triumph over Glasgow Warriors on Sunday. The 25-year-old needs a medical procedure and will be out of action for up to 12 weeks. He as of late came back to activity in the wake of cracking his correct arm amid England's mid-year voyage through South Africa. Vunipola has just begun three internationals in two years as a result of a progression of wounds. His nonattendance leaves a gap at number eight for England mentor Eddie Jones, with Nathan Hughes confronting a suspension and Sam Simmonds additionally harmed. Britain goes up against South Africa at Twickenham on 3 November and afterward play New Zealand, Japan, and Australia on the three ensuing Saturdays. Britain scrum-half Danny Care told the Rugby Union Weekly digital broadcast: "It's terrible news for Saracens and England, yet primarily for Billy. You truly feel for him. "I saw direct a week or so back, Harlequins against Saracens, he had a man-of-the-coordinate execution. He was totally splendid that day and indicated what he could do when completely fit." Then, Vunipola's sibling Mako has a calf strain and will be observed, while Sarries second column Nick Isiekwe has a lower leg strain.
Why A NZ Win is good for International Rugby League
Rugby League, at the international level, has been limping along for the last decade or so, with random games popping up devoid of meaning and a lack of a Kangaroos tour to the UK pushing it to the back burner once the NRL finishes. Last Saturday night at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, a new-look Australian side minus the likes of Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk succumbed to New Zealand 26-24 despite scoring in the opening minutes with alarming ease. Sitting at home watching, I was afraid of another flogging which does nothing for the game, but a Shaun Johnson-inspired NZ stormed back to grab a surprise win, albeit in front of a disappointing crowd of 12,763, which pretty much says where the international game is at; the very best players of New Zealand can only attract an NRL-standard crowd, and even in Australia the game would struggle to crack 20,000. A surprise win by NZ breathes fresh life into the international game which has been overshadowed by the juggernaut that is State of Origin, the giant elephant in the room of the NRL season, an outdated concept harking back to the days when the game was predominantly played in NSW and QLD. In an era when the game is expanding into new markets, hanging onto this format that runs for the best part of three months seems a bit odd to me. But back to my topic, and if Tonga could do a NZ on Australia and cause an upset on Saturday evening it would be a brilliant moment for the game, and with NZ embarking on a long overdue tour of the UK in late October/early November, the game at the highest level looks to be finally moving forward. As much as I love to Australia winning, it isn't healthy for the game to have one nation winning every world cup, and smaller nations are reluctant to schedule fixtures against them for fear of a thrashing. With the rise of Tonga as a rugby league powerhouse, it changes the landscape, and this weekend's historic fixture could be the best thing to happen to the game since it was started way back in 1908. If Tonga rise to become the dominant country, that wouldn't be such a bad thing. Perhaps the NZ win is the dawn of a new era of international rugby league, and I can't wait.