Billy Vunipola a serious Six Nations doubt with fractured forearm

Maro Itoje is fit and firing again as Saracens gear up for a seismic fortnight in Champions Cup

Maro Itoje is fit and firing again as Saracens gear up for a seismic fortnight in Champions Cup

It is desperate news for England, with Nathan Hughes also unavailable for at least the first three matches of the Six Nations with a knee injury, and similarly deflating for Vunipola, who was making only his second appearance following almost four months on the sidelines due to a knee injury that required surgery.

Billy Vunipola is a major doubt for England's upcoming Six Nations title defence after Saracens confirmed that the number eight has fractured his forearm.

The 25-year-old was taken off during half-time of Saracens' Champions Cup draw with the Ospreys and afterwards the Saracens assistant coach Alex Sanderson revealed that Vunipola could not feel his wrist.

Saracens have confirmed that the England worldwide is facing a prolonged spell on the sidelines, however, effectively ruling him out of the Six Nations, which begins in less than three weeks' time. "Vunipola had an x-ray today (Sunday) confirming the injury".

"Billy is due to see a specialist later this week, when a timeframe for recovery may be defined", a Saracens spokesman said in a statement. "Saracens will issue a further statement once Billy has seen a specialist".

He had only recently returned to action from a knee operation last summer.

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