Billy Vunipola: England number eight ‘definitely staying’ at Saracens

Billy Vunipola
Billy Vunipola helped England reach last year's World Cup final

England's Billy Vunipola is “definitely staying” at Saracens despite their relegation from the Premiership.

Defending champions Sarries will be automatically demoted from the top flight at the end of the season following salary cap breaches.

But the number eight, who has won 51 international caps, has said he will remain with the north London club.

"The way I see, it’s part of the journey of the club," the 27-year-old told RugbyPass.external-link

"Some boys have had to try to further their careers, as they are at the start of their careers. I’m kind of in the middle of it.

"The club have looked after me, and not just me, my family. It’s time for me to dig my heels in and scrap with the boys and hopefully come up next year.

"I’m definitely staying."

However, Vunipola is unsure what his decision will mean for his England career, adding: "I haven't spoken directly to the powers at the top, when it comes to England or at Sarries, as to what will happen in terms of international recognition.

"I’m excited for next year. I reckon I'll play as much as I can, try to help the team as much as possible and hopefully we’ll come straight back up.

"I can’t see a negative in it."

Vunipola has helped Saracens win four Premiership titles and three European Champions Cups over the past six years, but believes his body may benefit from playing a year in the Championship.

The forward missed the start of England’s Six Nations campaign with a broken arm - the fourth time he has sustained that particular injury.

"If there’s one positive to take out of it, I hope that my body will take less of a battering," he said.

"With no disrespect to the Championship, it will give my body a chance to heal.

"I don’t think they play as many games in the Championship. They don't have Champions Cup or those big games."

The Premiership season has been suspended until at least 24 April because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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