February 12, 2019 / 3:57 PM / 5 days ago

UPDATE 1-Rugby-England's Vunipola ruled out of Six Nations with ankle injury

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Feb 12 (Reuters) - England prop Mako Vunipola has been ruled out of the Six Nations Championship with an ankle ligament injury, the Rugby Football Union said on Tuesday.

Vunipola picked up the injury during England’s 44-8 victory over France on Sunday and is expected to be out action for 10 weeks.

“It is obviously very disappointing to lose Mako at this stage as he is an important player for us but it does provide an opportunity for the team to grow,” England coach Eddie Jones said.

Vunipola, capped 53 times by England, played a pivotal role in England’s 32-20 win over Ireland in Dublin, claiming the man of the match award.

The 28-year-old’s absence deals England a blow ahead of their Grand Slam eliminator against Wales at Cardiff on Feb. 23.

Exeter’s Ben Moon replaced Vunipola against France in the second half, and Ellis Genge and Alec Hepburn are also options for the loosehead slot.

The England squad will assemble in London on Wednesday for a three-day training camp to prepare for the Wales encounter. (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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