England prop Mako Vunipola has been ruled out of Sunday’s Guinness Six Nations clash with Ireland for family reasons.
Vunipola has been left out of the 33-man training squad that will prepare for the round three fixture, with Beno Obano called up in his place.
“Mako Vunipola is not included as he has travelled back to Tonga for family reasons,” a Rugby Football Union statement read.
Losing Vunipola is a major blow for England, who have already lost his younger brother Billy to a broken arm for the entire Six Nations.
Eddie Jones still has two high quality looseheads at his disposal, however, in Joe Marler and Ellis.
England will on Wednesday give a fitness update on Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade, who have been suffering from respective groin and ankle problems.