Vunipola to prop up Lions?

Thu, 13 Jun 2013 13:56
Large vunipola630

With Gethin Jenkins and Cian Healy out, Mako Vunipola could be in line for a starting berth in the first Test against Australia.

With the injuries to Gethin Jenkins and Cian Healy, Mako Vunipola could be in line for a starting berth in the first Test against Australia next weekend.

The 22-year-old prop has been in sublime form for both club and the Lions since he made his first official start for England in the Six Nations and has been building on the confidence he gained from that.

Although he seems to be the favourite choice to take over the No.1 jersey he remains quiet about his chances.

Vunipola told lionsrugby.com: The coaches wouldn't have brought out Alex [Corbisiero] and Ryan [Grant] if they didn't think they were good enough to play in the Test series. I've just got to keep my head down and keep working hard.

"Every player wants to play in the Tests. I knew with Gethin Jenkins and Cian Healy here, two solid Test props, that I'd have my work cut out - I knew I would have to work hard to push for the Test team.

"It's been going well so far and hopefully I can keep it going," added Vunipola.

Vunipola will play in his third consecutive game for the Lions when they face the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday and has had every opportunity to impress the selectors.

"To get three games in a row is great and I've had more chances than most players. Personally, the coaches seem happy with what I am doing so far, although obviously there is still room to improve and I need a good performance on Saturday," said the prop.

The attitude of the Saracens man is very simple and that basic approach seems to be helping him make a solid mark on this tour.

"Every chance you get to pull on the red Lions jersey is a chance to push for the Test side. This game is no different - I'll just go out there and play the same game," he mentioned.

The English International has worked with Lions forwards coach Graham Rowntree for a number of years and he feels that the coach has been instrumental in helping him develop his all-round game.

"I've been working with Graham [Rowntree] and he has been helpful here, and with England. The same set-up has been helpful for me and Graham has been a mentor for me since 18 and helped me a lot," Vunipola added.

The youngster is taking in as much as possible on his first Lions tour and learning from some of the Northern Hemisphere's greatest players can only make him a better player. The competition for places is another thing that players learn about on such a high-profile tour and Vunipola is taking it all in his stride.

"Being out here with so many class players you can't help but learn off them. Having Alex and Ryan come out has heightened the competition, although there is a lot of competition in all positions," he said.

The first Test takes place at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on June, 22.

Crusaders vs Brumbies
sast: 08h35 | local: 19h35

  • 7 | 0
LIVE
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 25 February 2017
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
Connacht v Zebre 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
Edinburgh v Ospreys 19h35 Myreside
Ulster v Treviso 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 20h15 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 04 March 2017
Hurricanes v Rebels 04h15 Wellington
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 17 | 83
Fri, 24 February 2017
Munster v Scarlets 21 | 30
Dragons v Leinster 22 | 54
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 17 | 18
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 18 | 27
Reds v Sharks 28 | 26
Highlanders v Chiefs 15 | 24
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16 | 10
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 20 | 15
TUT v WSU 13 | 17
UWC v Rhodes 88 | 8
B&I LIONS
MORE LOGS