English Rugby
Lancaster: Vunipola 'ticks all the boxes' at No.8
ESPN Staff
April 9, 2013
Wasps' Billy Vunipola hits full stride against Sale, Wasps v Sale, Aviva Premiership, Adams Park, High Wycombe, England, December 23, 2012
Billy Vunipola appears to be in line for his first England cap © PA Photos
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Players/Officials: Tom Farara-Lindsay | Billy Vunipola
Teams: Wasps

England coach Stuart Lancaster is keeping a close eye on London Wasps' young talent ahead of their summer tour to Argentina and has heaped praise on No.8 Billy Vunipola.

Wasps had just two representatives turning out for England during the Six Nations with both James Haskell and Joe Launchbury playing a key part in their campaign. But Lancaster also included Vunipola and Elliot Daly in the mix as cover for various injuries and the pair could now be on the plane to Argentina come the summer.

Lancaster took in Wasps' Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final against Leinster on Friday and was impressed by a host of their younger players while Christian Wade would have done his chances no harm after he bagged an impressive brace of tries.

"I thought Elliot did well at full-back as well as Billy Vunipola, Joe Launchbury and Tom Lindsay; there are lots of players here who are all there or thereabouts for the summer tour," Lancaster told the London Evening Standard.

"From an England point of view it's very exciting because we know these guys are not just going to be around for the next six months, but the next six years and beyond."

And Vunipola, who will join Saracens at the end of the season, looks set to earn his first Test cap come the summer after missing out during the Six Nations due to injury.

"In terms of a ball-carrying No.8, Billy ticks all the boxes," said Lancaster. "He was unfortunate not to get his opportunity against France. I told him he was selected and he twisted his ankle in training so it was disappointing for him to miss out."

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