Billy Vunipola makes preposterous statement about southern hemisphere rugby
Billy Vunipola is a top player but he's talking out of his hoop here.
The Saracens and England No.8 is fresh off the back of a tremendous showing with England's Six Nations Grand Slam side.
The Australian-born forward took his impressive club form to Test level and was a catalyst in England's success.
In a frank interview with The Daily Telegraph, Vunipola speaks about the changes he has made to his game, Eddie Jones' influence and, interestingly, the style of the recent tournament. Vunipola said:
"I don’t know what the obsession is with southern hemisphere rugby. They seem to have one good World Cup and suddenly everyone needs to play like them.
"Look, they obviously play a good brand of rugby but so do we.
"If you look back to 2003 when England won the World Cup, there were aspects of the game which people said were boring – using defence as a platform for attacks, kicking a lot, drop kicking, building scores that way. But because they were so successful people forget that and just remember the success."
That's all well and good, but New Zealand have won the last two World Cups and southern hemisphere sides have provided seven of the last eight semi-finallists. South Africa won the 2007 World Cup and southern hemisphere countries have claimed seven of the eight Webb Ellis trophies.
Bulling on, Vunipola declares England are not interested in copying any other side's style. Except for England circa 2003.
"We are not trying to play like anyone else," he says. "We are trying to play like the old English teams did – beat teams up front, and wear them down, and then use our quick backs to score us points."