sports

Billy Vunipola laments England hitting top form too late for Six Nations defence


Billy Vunipola says Six Nations victory over France can provide a “springboard” for England towards the World Cup.

But the big number eight voiced frustration that it had come too late to save their title dream.

England leapfrogged Les Bleus back up to number three in the world rankings courtesy of Maro Itoje’s late try.

“We talked about wanting to be the greatest team in the world and this will give us confidence,” said Vunipola. “Knowing that we can mix it with the best teams out there and beat them.”

The Saracens star added: ”This could be a springboard for us as a team. But there’s still huge disappointment with the fact that we’re going into next week without the title on the line.”

England head to Dublin on Saturday knowing that even victory over Ireland would not be enough to catch Grand Slam-chasing Wales.



Vunipola charges into France prop Mohammed Haouas ...
Vunipola charges into France prop Mohammed Haouas …



...and is congratulated by Eddie Jones at final whistle
…and is congratulated by Eddie Jones at final whistle

But the team at least has its mojo back, with Eddie Jones hailing the inspirational role played by captain Owen Farrell.

In Wales a fortnight ago Farrell was criticised for his play, his post-match interview and his dealing with the referee.

You would have not known it by the way he led England to their best performance since beating the All Blacks in 2019.



Owen Farrell passes under pressure from Virimi Vakatawa
Owen Farrell passes under pressure from Virimi Vakatawa

Jones said: “The way Owen has responded to the criticism that he has received has been absolutely outstanding.

“He hasn’t whinged, he hasn’t complained. He took it on the chin and got back to his belligerent aggressive self.”

Jones revealed that England had approached their French test with a tactic of letting the referee do “whatever he wanted” without debate.

“No queries, no questions,” said the Australian. “We followed and we adapted. Owen had a great balance and I thought he was at his aggressive best.”





READ SOURCE

Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.  Learn more