Vunipola – ‘Lions all I think about’

Date published: April 8 2017

England number eight Billy Vunipola admits that being selected for the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand would be a dream come true.

Four years ago, Vunipola suffered the heartache of missing out on the tour to Australia while his brother Mako and cousin Taulupe Faletau were included.

This time around, however, he is the leading contender to front up at the back of the scrum for Warren Gatland’s side.

And with Gatland’s announcement due on the April 19, the 24-year-old says the outcome of the selection is constantly occupying his mind.

“Everyone says ‘I’m not thinking about the Lions’ – they are all lying,” Vunipola told the Daily Mirror.

“I think about it all the time. It’s a dream I’ve been chasing ever since my England debut. I dream of what would it be like not to be picked, or to be picked, and it’s scary. It helps motivate me.

“You don’t want to be the one to miss out.

“The way I look at it, it’s like being on a night out with the boys. Even if you get a fight with your missus for it, you still want to be there.”

Vunipola will play for Saracens against Harlequins at Wembley in front of a bumper 70,000 crowd – on a weekend set to smash the English Premiership’s single round attendance record of 156,000.