England and Saracens number eight Billy Vunipola has opened up on the broken relationship with his brother Mako.
Despite playing rugby for the same club and county, Vunipola acknowledged a strained relationship with elder brother in a recent interview.
Billy has not discussed any of this with Mako, who has a very settled lifestyle, but believes that his actions will speak louder than his words.
“I had a real good look at myself,” Vunipola told the Independent.
“I think I could have been better at the World Cup in terms of off the field. I think my head was in the clouds.
“I think he can see that there is change in me. We talk a lot more.
“Him (Mako) and me didn’t really get on and that was my fault because I would never make the effort, I would never listen to him because I thought I knew the crack.
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“I listened to critique him rather than listened to listen to him. That is one thing I have definitely improved on.
“What kind of happened before was … it was mainly we were very competitive with each other but maybe we didn’t support each other as best we could and that is definitely something I felt I didn’t do for my brother.
“I didn’t support him when he was in a bad spot with injuries and that kind of improved our relationship, and hopefully we can keep going that way.”
LIST | 5 England players who could swap nations for 2023 World Cup
Sir Bill Beaumont has hit back in the World Rugby election race and revealed he wants to create a law change that would allow Manu Tuilagi and other England stars to end their Test career playing for other nations.
The former England captain raised the possibility in his re-election manifesto ahead of next month’s contest with former Argentina scrum-half Agustin Pichot.
In it he promises a review of Regulation 8 which covers eligibility to play for national teams “to see how we can support the longevity of players’ international careers”.
Based on this, we’ve looked at some other current England stars who could head to the 2023 Rugby World Cup to represent other nations.
We’ve not included Billy Vunipola, as we think he is likely to be still in the reckoning for England in three years time.
1. Manu Tuilagi (Samoa)
- Current number of caps: 41
- Age at the start of RWC 2023: 32
- Did you know: He was named Manusamoa, after the name of the Samoan national team
The England centre, who was born in Fogapoa and came to the UK at the age of 13, is one of a clutch of Pacific Island players whose eligibility status could change if the restrictions are relaxed. He is the younger brother of Freddie, Henry, Alesana, Anitelea and Sanele Vavae Tuilagi, all of whom are Samoan internationals and also played for Leicester. It would be fantastic for the powerhouse to complete the set.