Billy, Mako and Manu Vunipola to make Saracens exit at end of 2023/24 season

Billy Vunipola has played 194 times for Saracens
Billy Vunipola has played 194 times for Saracens

Saracens have announced that Billy, Mako and Manu Vunipola will be leaving the club at the end of the season.

Maku Vunipola made his debut for Saracens in 2011 and has racked up 229 appearances for the club. He has helped Sarries win five Premiership titles and three European trophies.

The 33-year-old made his England debut in 2012 and has 79 Test caps to his name. He was part of the squad that went on to win one Grand Slam and three Six Nations titles.

“I’m grateful for everything this club has given me. I’ve grown up at this place and it will be forever in my heart. Thank you," he said in a statement released by the club.

As for Billy, he joined Saracens in 2013 and has represented them 194 times. He has also won an incredible five Premiership trophies and three European titles. He has played for England on 75 occasions but both brothers are reportedly now set for a move to Top 14 club Montpellier.

“It’s been an honour to represent the people and this great club, through the highs and lows I’ve enjoyed it all. I will treasure my time here for the rest of my life!”

Meanwhile, cousin Manu Vunipola has been with Saracens since 2018 and has played for them in 77 games.

“To watch Billy develop into a world-class No 8 and a thoughtful, supportive teammate has been a privilege for us all," commented Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall. "He has contributed enormously to the progress we have made as a club. On the field, his intuition and amazing skill set combined with his competitive spirit and physical attributes made him a force to be reckoned with.

“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.”

Sale Sharks boss Alex Sanderson - who worked closely with Mako and Billy during his successful time as a coach at Saracens - added: “I coached Mako when he was 17 when I coached England Under-18s,” said Sanderson.

“Mako was in that squad and he couldn’t do a backward roly-poly at the time. But jeez, could he play rugby. He had grey hair at 17 but he could play. His outputs and involvements in the game, even when he wasn’t in great condition, showed his ability to read the game, to find the ball, to pop up both sides of the ball.

“I remember sitting next to Billy after the Heineken Cup final that we lost to Toulon [in 2014] and he was inconsolable. It’s things like that that bind you to players. We had a fight on a piss-up in a bar in Croatia. He threw a cork and it hit me in the eye. When I left, 10 years later, he sent me a letter apologising for that incident which I’d buried the day after. Rugby-wise, brilliant players. Men, none better.”