England will miss Vunipola's leadership, says coach Borthwick

Maro Itoje missed the game against France

Maro Itoje missed the game against France

England, who face Wales in the Six Nations next Saturday, have already lost prop Mako Vunipola for the tournament after he suffered ankle ligament damage against France.

Mako Vunipola, England's first choice in the position, is sidelined for 10 weeks because of his own ankle problem to leave Genge and Ben Moon battling for the number one jersey.

Eddie Jones, England's head coach, said losing Vunipola was a blow.

"Moon said: "[Vunipola] is a leader.

"Ellis Genge in training today reported a sore ankle so he was withdrawn", said England's forwards coach, Steve Borthwick. "I am looking forward to seeing how these guys take their opportunity". "He's responded unbelievably well to treatment last night and charged through training today".

'But we've also got some very good loosehead props in Ben Moon - look at the way he played in November - and Genge, who is also an excellent player'. He trained and did the whole session.

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Vunipola had been in fine form for England after missing the autumn internationals due to a calf strain and was named man of the match in their victory over Ireland in Dublin on the opening weekend.

Into the void created in the number one jersey must step either Genge or Ben Moon, both of whom are Test rookies but have also acquitted themselves well in the global future.

"We saw over the autumn that Moon is a glue player", added Hatley.

"The fundamentals of his game - scrum, his work in the tight, his mauling work, his line-out work, his set-piece work - are exceptional". "He does the basics very, very well and he allows the rest of the team to operate around him". We all saw the hit on Duane Vermeulen in the South Africa game.

"Ellis is also very aggressive". And on top of that he is making 20-odd tackles a game and carrying the ball 15 times.

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