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England’s new men struggled without Billy Vunipola but Jones will keep faith | Nick Evans

Minus the man who carries the ball so much, Eddie Jones’s midfielders found they couldn’t get into the game against Argentina as much as they’d like

All the talk in the buildup to the start of England’s autumn internationals was how they would perform without Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje. But the biggest miss for Eddie Jones was Billy Vunipola.

Eddie was spot on when he said England just didn’t click, but while I thought a lack of cohesion would be understandable there was a fair bit more of it than I expected. And Vunipola’s absence is massive in that respect. Billy is such a huge focal point for England in terms of go-forward. He gives you 15-20 carries a game, it’s always over the gain line, and when you don’t have someone doing that it means you don’t have enough front-foot ball.

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