England without Mako Vunipola due to family reasons

England will be without loosehead prop Mako Vunipola when they take on Ireland in the Six Nations this weekend as he has flown to Tonga for family reasons.

Vunipola is left out of the 33-man training squad that will prepare for the Round Three showdown, with Beno Obano called up in his place.

“Mako Vunipola is not included as he has travelled back to Tonga for family reasons,” read a Rugby Football Union statement on Tuesday.

Losing Vunipola is a major setback for England, who have already lost his younger brother Billy to a broken arm for the entire Six Nations.

As well as Obano, England coach Eddie Jones still has two high quality looseheads at his disposal, however, in Joe Marler and Ellis Genge.

England will on Wednesday issue an update on Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade, who are suffering with respective groin and ankle issues.

England’s 33-man squad

Forwards: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Tom Dunn, Ben Earl, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, Joe Marler, Beno Obano, Kyle Sinckler, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill, Harry Williams

Backs: Elliot Daly, Ollie Devoto, Fraser Dingwall, Owen Farrell, George Ford, George Furbank, Willi Heinz, Jonathan Joseph, Jonny May, Henry Slade, Ollie Thorley, Manu Tuilagi, Jacob Umaga, Ben Youngs

Apprentice player: Alex Mitchell