Billy Vunipola rejects suitors to join French club and brother Mako could follow

Jared Wright
Saracens' Billy Vunipola during the friendly match at the StoneX Stadium, London.

Saracens' Billy Vunipola during the friendly match at the StoneX Stadium, London.

Saracens look set to lose the services of Billy and Mako Vunipola at the end of the season.

Reports in France state that Billy has already landed a contract across the Channel, and his older brother Mako looks set to complete a move as well.

The news comes off the back of Saracens confirming Owen Farrell’s departure to Racing 92 as the club bids farewell to three club stalwarts.

Billy Vunipola heads to Montpellier

Montpellier are continuing their love of England number eights and have reportedly secured Billy’s services ahead of the 2024/25 season, beating Japanese and Super Rugby clubs, and other French suitors, to his signature.

The club signed Zach Mercer in 2021, and when he returned to the Premiership in 2023, they moved to snap up Sam Simmonds from Exeter Chiefs.

According to Rugbyrama, Vunipola has signed a two-year deal with Montpellier, a report that several French publications have backed up.

Meanwhile, Saracens boss Mark McCall also confirmed that the Vunipola brothers will likely leave the Premiership side at the end of the season.

Saracens believe they found the ‘right person’ to replace Owen Farrell

It is yet to be confirmed whether Vunipola’s signing for Montpellier will have any impact on Simmonds’ role in the Top 14 club’s squad.

Billy Vunipola last represented England at the 2023 Rugby World Cup, featuring in five of their seven fixtures including his final cap off the bench in the semi-final defeat to South Africa.

Mako’s future

Meanwhile, Mako Vunipola announced his retirement from international rugby ahead of the 2024 Six Nations. The loosehead prop has been a mainstay of the England squad over the years but missed the World Cup through injury.

The front-rower is reportedly on the radar of multiple French clubs and potentially a move to a Super Rugby side.

The Vunipolas are set to add to the ever-growing list of England internationals leaving the Premiership to take up deals in France, which includes Farrell, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam and Kyle Sinckler.

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