After a gruelling year the Saracens prop should be resting but instead is off to South Africa for England’s three-Test series
A year ago this weekend Mako Vunipola was on the Lions’ bench for the opening match of their New Zealand tour and was pressed into action nine minutes into the second half to head off the prospect of an unthinkable defeat by a side scavenged from the lower reaches of the professional game in the land of the World Cup holders. The England prop has made 35 appearances since then and, in an age when player welfare is talked about constantly, he should be resting his feet somewhere unspoiled by rugby posts.
He duly boarded a plane this weekend, on tour but not a tourist. His campaign has another month to run with England, in need of redemption in South Africa for a three-Test series after slumping to fifth in the Six Nations and conceding 63 points to the Barbarians last Sunday. And so Vunipola – who had two rest weekends last season, one at the beginning – trudges on, not that the 27-year-old is complaining.
Written by Paul Rees
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/jun/02/mako-vunipola-england-south-africa-tour under the title “Mako Vunipola: ‘What has pleased me most is playing so many games‘”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.