EXCLUSIVE: Forward thinking to keep Billy at Wasps until 2015
22:29 GMT, 31 December 2012
Wasps are on the verge of retaining one of the brightest emerging talents in English rugby, Billy Vunipola.
The marauding Anglo-Tongan No 8 has been in sensational form for the revitalised Wasps this season but his contract expires in June, drawing intense speculation about his future plans.
Vunipola has been linked with Saracens, where older brother Mako — who made his England debut against Fiji at the start of the recent autumn series — plays.
On the run: Billy Vunipola looks set to sign a new deal at Wasps
Leicester have also reportedly expressed an interest in the 20-year-old ball-carrier, who was born in Sydney but has represented England at Under 18 and Under 20 level.
He grew up in Wales then Bristol, before attending Harrow school, and signed for Wasps in the hope of emulating club icon Lawrence Dallaglio.
This has been his breakthrough season, with 13 starts and 15 appearances as a 20st force of nature at the base of the scrum.
Going nowhere: Vunipola has been in impressive form for Wasps this season
Dai Young, Wasps’ director of rugby, has repeatedly expressed his determination to keep hold of a player he feels is destined for senior England recognition in the near future.
Now it appears his wishes have been answered as Sportsmail understands Vunipola has reached agreement with the club about staying and is set to sign a new deal this week.
It would be a major coup for Wasps, and the development follows the decision in November by England lock sensation Joe Launchbury to commit to the club until June 2015. Young is developing a top squad on a core of great young, homegrown talent.