England happy to take ‘public enemy number one’ mantle on against Fiji

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Billy Vunipola defiant before Sunday’s World Cup quarter-final with opponents fast becoming others’ second-favourite team

England are no longer denying the obvious. If they do not regain some momentum swiftly their Rugby World Cup campaign will end abruptly on Sunday and the postmortems are unlikely to be comfortable. Overwhelm Fiji in their quarter‑final, however, and fans at home and abroad may finally start to perceive them differently.

A desire to prove their detractors wrong is also an increasing factor in the wake of a scruffy 18-17 win against Samoa that raised more questions than it answered. “In terms of being public enemy number one, we are happy to take that mantle on,” said Billy Vunipola, doing his best to export a little Millwall-style defiance to the south of France after being informed that Fiji were fast becoming everyone’s second-favourite team.

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Written by Robert Kitson in Aix-en-Provence
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2023/oct/10/england-happy-to-take-public-enemy-number-one-mantle-on-against-fiji-rugby-world-cup under the title “England happy to take ‘public enemy number one’ mantle on against Fiji”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.