Billy Vunipola to miss England Rugby World Cup
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A red card against Ireland has resulted in Billy Vunipola missing England’s opening World Cup game against Argentina.

The yellow card he received on Saturday was upgraded to a red for a high challenge on Ireland’s Andrew Porter.

If he completes the World Rugby coaching programme on tackling, Vunipola’s ban can be reduced to two games.

Fiji will be England’s final warm-up opponent this Saturday.

As the World Cup in France gets underway on 8 September, England will play Argentina the following day.

Steve Borthwick will also be without captain Owen Farrell for England’s first two pool games after World Rugby successfully appealed against the decision to overturn the red card he received against Wales on 12 August.

Each player is allowed to take tackle school once during their career, which aims to modify the specific techniques and technical issues that lead to illegal contact.

In a video hearing held on Tuesday, Vunipola admitted that his shoulder-led tackle that struck Porter on the head triggered a six-game suspension automatically.3

England’s World Cup squad includes 33 players, but only Vunipola is a specialist number eight. Due to Tom Curry’s ankle injury, coach Steve Borthwick will have to find alternatives for the Fiji game, with Ben Earl expected to take Curry’s place.

In both of England’s warm-up games, Vunipola has been sent off for high tackles due to rugby’s new ‘bunker’ review system.

Following a high tackle on Taine Basham, Farrell became the first to receive a yellow card.

Referees were supported in making correct decisions with the bunker system during the Summer Nations Series.

Danny Care, England’s scrum-half, says the team has been working on tackle technique every day to improve their discipline.

Despite going through a lot in his career, Billy has been very mature and helpful towards the rest of the team, according to attack coach Richard Wigglesworth.