Vunipola sidesteps mind games

Date published: September 21 2015

England's Billy Vunipola revealed that he is not interested in playing any mind games with Wales coach Warren Gatland.

The Kiwi has been quoted in the press as saying that England "have got the problem of which way they want to play and who they want to play."

However, the England back-rower is not interested in engaging with Gatland and would rather let his play during Saturday's Pool A clash do the talking.

"It doesn't interest me what he has to say, to be honest," the 22-year-old told Wales Online.

"He is very good at mind games, very good at them. He is a seasoned professional at what he does, he wins a lot of games and trophies. So we cannot get into that kind of nitty gritty stuff.

"I think it only works if you react to it but it is something that we don't really pay any attention to. Mind games don't really interest me. I'm more interested in the fact we are playing Wales at home in a World Cup and I am in it.

"You have to use whatever situation you’re in to try and motivate yourself."

Following his inspiring performance off the bench agains Fiji, where he scored a try, the Australian-born forward could well be picked to start against Wales on Saturday. 

Wales are missing the mercurial boot of Leigh Halfpenny at full-back as well as the crisp service of scrum-half Rhys Webb. Vunipola believes this is why Gatland lashed out at his rivals. 

"Obviously for them they have lost two very key players," he added.

"Everyone is having a go at Gatland, his back is against the wall so he has to come out fighting. That is the position that he has taken. We have to not play any mind games with the big fella."