Billy Vunipola reveals ‘handbags were thrown’ in build-up to World Cup

Billy Vunipola has revealed there were “handbags thrown” as the squad prepared for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

The powerful back-rower explained how the work Eddie Jones and his backroom staff have carried out has developed a relationship within the team that has not been discovered before.

“Eddie has definitely got the baggage out. It was something that was very important to us and it has probably freed us up a lot in terms of our relationships,” Vunipola said.

“Everything that we felt or thought, we just put it out to the group. There were a few bumps in the road but like anything in the world – with your family and things like that – there are always mishaps.

“It helps to listen to each other and caring about another person’s opinion and taking it on board, rather than going back to your room and having a little moan to your mate.

“I think this is the first team that is willing to go deeper than saying ‘I think you should have hit this ruck.’ We have got down to it – and it has been good.

“You know Eddie will always look for things to improve us and that was probably the biggest thing we needed to improve – how together we can be.

YOUR SAY:

“Every other team says they are doing it, but being brutally honest can hurt a few feelings.

“Being within the confines of England rugby, a lot of us are very precious. When you’re at your club, you’re the main man, but when you’re with England you’re just the next person.

“There were a few handbags thrown around but it was really good. She (Corinne Reid) gave us the platform to do it.

EDITORS PICKS:

“It’s really hard but it is a thing – men don’t know how to talk about their feelings. It took us a while but we got there in the end.

“We know what the feeling of 2015 is like and we don’t want to feel like that again. We’ve been hurt before and we don’t want to be like that again. That’s driving us on as much as anything else.

“When 2015 happened everything turned on its head. But as a group, we’ve talked about things that we’ve never been able to put out there and it’s brought us closer together.”

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