England's Mako Vunipola out of Wales clash

London (AFP) –


Mako Vunipola has been ruled out of England's Six Nations international against Wales this weekend with a "medical issue", according to forwards coach Matt Proudfoot.

The Saracens prop was back in the fold after being included in a 34-man training squad named by coach Eddie Jones on Monday after recently travelling to Tonga for unspecified personal reasons.

But Proudfoot, speaking on Tuesday, said: "Mako is not with us now. He has got a medical issue so he won't be available for the weekend.

"It is just something medical, so he is out for the weekend."

Asked whether the 29-year-old Vunipola would play any further part in this season's Six Nations, with England set to finish the Championship against Italy in Rome on March 14, Proudfoot added: "We will take it week by week."

Vunipola's absence means Joe Marler and Ellis Genge will compete to be the starting loosehead prop in Saturday's match against reigning Grand Slam champions Wales at Twickenham.

"We were excited to have him back, he is a great presence and a very experienced player, but we have great depth in our looseheads and they have been playing well," Proudfoot said.

"We will give the guys a go who were there. Mako is a world-class player, but the guys have been doing a great job."

Both Jones and Wales counterpart Wayne Pivac are due to name their teams for the latest Anglo-Welsh clash on Thursday.

France are the only team left in the 2020 Six Nations that can complete a Grand Slam.

But World Cup finalists England haven't lost since being beaten by the French in their tournament opener and remain in title contention.

Wales, in their first season under Pivac after he succeeded fellow New Zealander Warren Gatland as coach following the World Cup, head to London looking to avoid a third straight loss having been defeated by Ireland and France.