England number eight Billy Vunipola will miss the final two matches of this season’s Six Nations.
The 21-year-old Saracen suffered an ankle injury when tackled by Devin Toner in the first half of the Saturday’s 13 – 10 win over Ireland at Twickenham.
Vunipola, whose brother Mako also featured in the win, underwent a scan this morning and the results have revealed ligament damage.
The injury means that Stuart Lancaster will be without the powerful ball-carrier for their Triple Crown bid against Wales on March 9 as well as the trip to Rome on the final day.
Against Ireland, Ben Morgan came off the bench to help his side turn a 3 – 0 lead into a 13 – 10 win and the Gloucester man is the front-runner to again fill the number eight shirt for the remainder of the Championship.
No exact time-frame has been suggested for Vunipola’s return to fitness, so it is unclear if he will return in time (or, in good time for) Saracens’ Heineken Cup quarter-final trip to Ulster in early April.