Springboks

Vunipola ready to take on Springbok 'bullies'

2018-06-02 16:18
Billy Vunipola (Getty)

Cape Town - England number eight Billy Vunipola is readying himself for an almighty tussle with the Springboks in their three-match series in June.

Vunipola, who last week helped Saracens claim the Premiership title after a difficult season with injuries, knows England face a huge test.

But he's determined to have an impact in what he expects to be a fight throughout the month against the Springboks on their home turf.

"Rugby in South Africa is by far the biggest sport, and we just have to go there and scrap for everything," he told England Rugby's website.

"We have to be like that otherwise they will just bully us off the park - that is what they are used to - using their big physical pack to weigh you down, and we have to try stand up to that. That's the challenge ahead of us and we have to just embrace it."

England finished this year's Six Nations in fifth position after a difficult campaign, but Vunipola feels that could make them stronger long-term.

"It's a good thing going through this tough period because it gives us things we can work on," he said.

"It's always better to try to improve when you've lost a few games; it's tougher to motivate yourself when you're always winning games because you think you're untouchable - but we’re not.

"It's a good lesson and hopefully we can come together as a team again and take this tour by the scruff of the neck."

He added on the tour: "I'm hugely excited. There's a lot of question marks surrounding my hamstring which is understandable, because I've been injured, but it is one of those things I cannot control.

"Ice baths, game readies, stretching, flexibility helps a lot and rehab on my hamstring, even when it feels strong it is just one of those things I keep working on.

"But I'm here and I'm ready to go."

The first Test between the Springboks and England is scheduled for Ellis Park in Johannesburg on June 9, followed by Tests in Bloemfontein (Free State Stadium, June 16) and Cape Town (Newlands, June 23).

Read more on:    england  |  springboks  |  billy vunipola  |  rugby
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Saturday, 09 June 2018
Japan v Italy, Oita Bank Stadium 07:45
New Zealand v France, Eden Park 09:35
Australia v Ireland, Suncorp Stadium 12:00
South Africa v England, Emirates Airline Park 17:05
Argentina v Wales, Estadio Bicentenario 21:40
Sunday, 10 June 2018
Canada v Scotland, Commonwealth Stadium 03:10
Saturday, 16 June 2018
Japan v Italy, Noevir Stadium 07:00
New Zealand v France, Westpac Stadium 09:35
Australia v Ireland, AAMI Park 12:00
South Africa v England, Toyota Stadium 17:05
Argentina v Wales, Estadio Brigadier Estanislao López 21:40
Sunday, 17 June 2018
USA v Scotland, BBVA Compass Stadium 03:00
Saturday, 23 June 2018
New Zealand v France, Forsyth Barr Stadium 09:35
Australia v Ireland, Allianz Stadium 12:00
South Africa v England, Cape Town 17:05
Argentina v Scotland, Estadio Centenario 21:40
Saturday, 18 August 2018
South Africa v Argentina, Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 17:05
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