Mako Vunipola is out of England’s rugby clash with Wales and has been told to self-isolate as a coronavirus precaution after flying home from Tonga via Hong Kong.
The Saracens prop, who had returned to the Pacific island for family reasons, was named yesterday by Eddie Jones in his squad for Saturday’s Twickenham clash.
But once England were alerted to the fact his journey back had passed through virus-hit Hong Kong, he was told to remain at home.
“Mako is not in camp on medical grounds,” said a Rugby Football Union spokesperson.
“He is not sick, but it is a precaution.”
Vunipola is now almost certain to also miss England’s final Six Nations match in Italy on Saturday week – regardless of whether the Italian authorities allow the match to go ahead.
Travellers returning from areas where the virus is prevalent are being asked to self-isolate. The NHS recommended period of self-isolation is 14 days.
England forwards coach Matt Proudfoot said the matter was “between him and his doctor”.
He added: “Mako 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.
“We were excited to have him back, he is a great presence and a very experienced player, but we have have great depth in our looseheads and they have been playing well.
“Mako is a world class player, but the guys have been doing a great job.”
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