England will be without Mako Vunipola for their Autumn Nations Cup final against France after the forward was ruled out with a calf problem. The prop suffered the injury in the victory over Wales last Saturday and has not recovered in time for the culmination of the competition at Twickenham on Sunday.
Leicester Tigers prop Ellis Genge will take Vunipola’s place in the team after being promoted from the bench, with Joe Marler filling the replacements quota.
Attack coach Simon Amor said: “Mako picked up an injury in last week’s game. We’ve given him every opportunity to recover for this one but unfortunately he hasn’t made it.”
The match is still viewed as a mismatch with even the France head coach Fabien Galthie insisting Les Bleus will have to defy all expectations to defeat England.
“These inexperienced players needed to learn quickly and they have been learning quickly,” he said of a lineup that numbers a mere 68 caps, 30 of which are provided by full-back Brice Dulin, with five players making only their second international appearance.
“When we started the year, we wanted France to be back among the world’s top nations and we wanted to be title contenders. We were joint top of the Six Nations and now we’re contesting for the Autumn Nations Cup title.”