England International Stood Down Ahead Of Wales Game Over Coronavirus Fears
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Mako Vunipola will miss England’s Six Nations clash with Wales this week because of a medical issue, forwards coach Matt Proudfoot has said.
The England prop missed their win over Ireland for family reasons but because he flew home from Tonga via Hong Kong – he has been advised to self isolate over coronavirus fears.
“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,” Proudfoot said.
An RFU spokesperson added that Vunipola is not sick with this step merely a precaution.
“Mako is not in camp on medical grounds. He is not sick, but it is a precaution,” a Rugby Football Union spokesperson said.
But bizarrely it has since been reported that Vunipola is now training with his club Saracens despite the fact that he was expected to spend 14 days in self-isolation.
Former England coach Clive Woodward thinks the entire fiasco is embarrassing.
“Why did England try to pass this off initially as a medical issue with no further information? The media will always find out one way or another, so just put your hands up from the start and admit a mistake,” he wrote in the Daily Mail
“You may look and feel a bit daft for a day, but everybody moves on. Under no circumstances try to hoodwink the media – there is only one “inner in situations like this!
“Then there are the logistics of how Mako was allowed to come back via Hong Kong, given the need for self-isolation for anybody returning from that part of the world.
“Given that he rushed out there over a personal issue, surely somebody within the England set-up should have sorted out the logistics for him.
“None of this sends out a great message regarding England being on top of things. Attention to detail is everything in sport at this level.
“To be world-class on the field of play you have to be world-class off the field of play. Frankly, this is just embarrassing.”
There have been 51 coronavirus cases in the UK, while the first confirmed case of the virus in Hong Kong occurred on January 23.