Vunipola relishing battle with Burgess

Date published: May 29 2015

Saracens number eight Billy Vunipola is excited about going up against Bath's Sam Burgess in Saturday's Premiership Final.

The 22-year-old will pack down at number eight for Saracens with Burgess expected to be named at six for Bath, after a run of strong performances in the back row for the former rugby league star since crossing codes.

Vunipola believes Burgess is more suited to the back of the pack than out in the centres, comparing him to Manu Tuilagi.

"He's a tremendous rugby player. I think the back row is probably his best position because of how strong he is and how he plays the game," Vunipola told AFP.

"The shape and build of the guy is more suited to that position. He has a similar frame to Manu Tuilagi but is not as quick.

"That's probably one of his downfalls but he adds a different dimension to the back row with the lines he cuts.

"No offence to him, but he possibly wants to be one of the backs because it's a little fancier but I see him in the forwards."

Vunipola meanwhile has been outstanding for club and country since his struggles in the internationals last November.

"I didn't play in the November internationals but stepped back, took a look at myself and put in some extra work to get back to where I wanted to be. Now I'm in good form.

"Beating Saints last weekend was very satisfying because we'd lost to them twice already this season and they are a tough team to beat.

"Bath are a good side and they have real attacking options in George Ford and Jonathan Joseph who are crucial players for them."