Rugby Union

Billy Vunipola admits he didn't want Saracens move

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Both the Tuilagi and the Vunipola brothers have spoken to Clare Balding about the England squad, injuries, family and transfers.

Manu Tuilagi has been ruled out of the opening matches of the Autumn Internationals and is very disappointed, but is adamant that the England squad can cope against the southern hemisphere without him.


“With the injury, it’s one of those things, I had the same injury three, four weeks ago,” he said.

“It’s just unlucky, it felt really good throughout the whole week in training and at the start of the game. I think I got a bit too excited and it went really wrong. I had a scan on Monday and a meeting with the doctor and he said about 6-8 weeks.”

“It’s not good for the clubs and especially for England. It’s probably the biggest games so far in the season, especially building up to the World Cup next year. It’s very important to get the win over the teams from the Southern Hemisphere. With all the players we have, the competition is high in all areas of the team, we’ll be fine.”

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When asked who was the best Tuilagi brother, they both put Andy Tuilagi above themselves.

Alseana: “I think its Andy, he plays centre as well, he’s got good skills, and then Manu. I put myself last because I know I’m the best."

Manu added: “I think it’s Andy as well, but I think, with him, that when he plays he just wants to kill people too much sometimes. He ends up injuring himself quite a lot. He’s broken both arms, shoulders, but if he didn’t get injured he would be the best of us. His nickname is hard people.”


During the show, the brothers got a surprise call from their mother, on which they commented.

Alseana said: “She was calling to find out about his injury. She always calls every weekend before and after a game. She loves watching other teams, not the teams that we play in, but she’ll always go for the younger son [when she watches].”

Manu commented:  “She’ll come to the game, but she’ll close her eyes, because she’s so worried we’re going to get hurt.”

Billy Vunipola has recently made the switch to Saracens to join up with older brother Mako, but he has revealed that the move isn't one that he wanted. “It was a lot to do with our family and also how unstable Wasps were at the time. I didn’t want to move, it was a family decision,” Billy said. “She didn’t like the fact we played in two separate teams.”


Mako added: “She didn’t want to go to two games in one weekend. Saving money on petrol.”

The Vunipola brothers had a tough choice to make when deciding on whether to play for England or for Wales, but feel they have justified their decision.“We kind of grew up here, it felt right to play for England,” Billy explained.

“Our dad really, growing up, Wales gave us a lot, a chance of a better life, he felt that at least one of us should play for Wales, he pushed us to play there," added Mako. "But like Billy said we played all our age group here, so we play for England.”

Manu and Alseana Tuilagi and Mako and Billy Vunipola were speaking ahead of their appearance on The Clare Balding Show which airs Friday 24th October at 10:00pm on BT Sport 2.

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