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England’s number eight player, Billy Vunipola, was cited for a high tackle against Andrew Porter of Ireland, and as a result, will be absent from England’s first World Cup match against Argentina.
During a game with Ireland, Vunipola received a yellow card for a high challenge on Andrew Porter. However, the decision was later escalated to a red card.
Though the initial penalty against Vunipola is for three games, he can have it lessened to two by participating in the World Rugby coaching programme that focuses on proper tackling techniques.
England’s final pre-World Cup game is scheduled for this Saturday against Fiji, while the World Cup in France is set to begin on 8 September. England will be facing Argentina the very next day.
England’s coach, Steve Borthwick, now faces a challenging situation. With Vunipola being the sole specialist number eight in his 33-player World Cup roster, Borthwick will have to use the Fiji game to explore other options.
The situation becomes even more complex, as Borthwick will not have the services of captain Owen Farrell for the first two pool games. World Rugby’s appeal against the decision to reverse Farrell’s red card, following a victory over Wales on 12 August, was successful.
Vunipola’s red card marks the second time an England player has been sent off for a high tackle under rugby’s newly introduced ‘bunker’ review system during their warm-up games.
Owen Farrell was the first to face this penalty, initially receiving a yellow card for a high tackle on Taine Basham before it was later upgraded to red.
Danny Care, England’s scrum-half, revealed that the team is diligently working on their tackle technique each day, aiming to enhance their discipline and adapt to the new rules.
The introduction of the ‘bunker’ system during the Summer Nations Series signifies rugby’s continuing efforts to ensure correct decision-making by referees.
As England’s rugby team navigates these challenges, fans will be watching closely to see how the squad adapts to these changes in preparation for the World Cup. The emphasis on proper tackling and discipline will likely be a crucial theme in their journey.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Rugby World Cup
Why will Billy Vunipola miss England’s World Cup opener?
Billy Vunipola received a red card for a high tackle on Ireland’s Andrew Porter, resulting in a ban that sidelines him for the World Cup opener.
Can Vunipola’s ban be reduced?
Yes, Vunipola’s ban can be reduced to two games if he completes the World Rugby coaching program on tackling.
Who else will be absent from England’s lineup?
Captain Owen Farrell will miss the first two pool games due to a red card decision that was upheld after an appeal by World Rugby.
How has the ‘bunker’ review system impacted England?
England’s recent warm-up games saw two red cards for high tackles under the new ‘bunker’ review system, highlighting the focus on player discipline.
What’s the significance of the Fiji game?
Coach Steve Borthwick will use the Fiji game to explore alternatives, as Vunipola is the sole specialist number eight in the World Cup squad.
When does the Rugby World Cup start?
The World Cup in France begins on 8 September, with England facing Argentina the following day in their opening match.
More about Rugby World Cup
- England Rugby Official Website: Stay updated on the latest news and updates about England’s rugby team.
- World Rugby Official Website: Get information about the rules, regulations, and updates about rugby worldwide.
- Rugby World Cup Official Website: Stay informed about the upcoming Rugby World Cup in France.
- Rugby Union Weekly Podcast: Listen to expert commentary and analysis on rugby news and events.