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The Vunipola clan exit top English club

NEWS: England international brothers Billy and Mako Vunipola will leave Saracens at the end of the season, the Premiership club announced.

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The 33-year-old Mako, who has been one of the leading figures in the sport for over a decade will bring down the curtain on a sparkling career at the end of the season.

He has won five Premiership titles and three European trophies in North London during 229 appearances.

While, younger brother  31-year-old Billy Vunipola has spent 11 years at the club since joining from Wasps in 2013, winning five Premiership titles and three European Champions Cup crowns in 194 appearances.

“It’s been a honour to represent the people and this great club, through the highs and lows I’ve enjoyed it all,” Billy Vunipola said in a statement issued by the club.

“I will treasure my time here for the rest of my life.”

On the international stage, the duo has just been as incredible.

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The Australia-born No.8 has represented England 75 times, winning three Six Nations titles, including the Grand Slam in 2016.

He was part of the squad that finished second at the 2019 World Cup and third at the 2023 tournament.

Mako was selected for three consecutive British and Irish Lions Tours in 2013, 2017 and 2021, and featured in all nine test matches during the tours of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

For England, he gained 79 caps, won one Grand Slam, three Six Nations titles and will go down as one of the very best props to put on the famous white shirt.

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Last week Billy Vunipola received a formal warning from the Rugby Football Union following his alcohol-fuelled arrest in Mallorca in April, but was not sanctioned further by the governing body.

Saracens Director of rugby Mark McCall thanked the duo.

“To watch Billy develop into a world class number eight and a thoughtful, supportive team-mate has been a privilege for us all,” McCall said about Billy’s time at Saracens.

“He has contributed enormously to the progress we have made as a club. On the field his intuition and amazing skillset combined with his competitive spirit and physical attributes made him a force to be reckoned with.

“Off the field Billy was sensitive to the needs of the group and a fantastic mentor to many younger players.”

McCall also praised Mako’s generational ability.

“Few players change how their position is played. Mako’s all-around skillset, rugby intelligence and physicality made us – as coaches – rethink what’s possible from a loosehead prop.

“Mako has achieved a phenomenal amount in the game; three Lions Tours, multiple England caps and being central to all Saracens has created.

“A good friend and dedicated family man, Mako will forever be a part of the Saracens family and we wish him, Alex, Jacob, Joshua and Grace the best for what’s ahead.”

Meanwhile, Billy and Mako’s cousin, Manu Vunipola also revealed he will leave Saracens at the end of the season.

Born in New Zealand the flyhalf, who has come through the academy at Sarries,  has gone on to make 77 appearances at the age of just 24.

Vunipola made his debut as a teenager in 2019, and has had an incredible journey in North London, winning two Premiership titles, a Championship trophy and the Champions Cup.

He has represented England at both Under 18s and Under-20 level, underlining his huge potential moving forward.

“My time at this wonderful club is coming to an end and I just wanted to thank everyone for all their help and support throughout my time here,” the flyhalf said.

“I started as a young 14-year-old in the academy and can proudly say I’ve played a senior game for this team which was always a dream of mine.

“I’m so thankful for the memories I’ve made here, so thankful to the players who’ve helped me past and present and to the fans who have been patient with me and supported me, thank you.

“I leave with so many great memories from my time here and I hope we can finish with a trophy this year.”

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