Open main menu

Billy Vunipola (born 3 November 1992) is a professional rugby union player who plays at number 8 for Saracens in the English Premiership and for the England national team. Born in Australia to Tongan parents, he qualified for England through residency. He made his England debut in 2013 and has since won 45 caps.

Billy Vunipola
USO - Saracens - 20151213 - Billy Vunipola.jpg
Birth nameViliami Vunipola
Date of birth (1992-11-03) 3 November 1992 (age 27)
Place of birthSydney, Australia
Height1.89 m (6 ft 2 12 in)[1]
Weight130 kg (20 st 7 lb; 290 lb)[1]
SchoolThe Castle School
Harrow School
Notable relative(s)Feʻao Vunipola (father)
Mako Vunipola (brother)
Elisi Vunipola (uncle)
Manu Vunipola (uncle)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Number 8
Current team Saracens
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
Correct as of 21 April 2019
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
England U20
Correct as of 26 October 2019

Early lifeEdit

Vunipola was born in Sydney in Australia to Tongan parents,[2] but moved to Wales with his family as a young child after his father Feʻao Vunipola signed for Pontypool RFC in 1998. He was educated at Porth Infants School and Griffithstown Junior School, playing for New Panteg RFC with Joe Lane. He subsequently moved to The Castle School in Thornbury, England where he played junior rugby for Thornbury RFC before being given a scholarship to attend Harrow School.[citation needed]

Club careerEdit


While at Harrow School, he joined the Wasps Academy.[3] He made his senior team debut in 2011–12 season and played 30 matches over two seasons before leaving at the end of the 2012–2013 season.[citation needed]


Vunipola signed a contract in January 2013 to move to Saracens at the end of the 2012–13 Aviva Premiership.

International careerEdit


After representing England at U18 and U20 level, Vunipola was called up to the England Saxons Squad in January 2013. He trained with the England Squad during the 2013 Six Nations Championship and made his senior England debut during the England tour of Argentina in the test against Argentina in Salta in June 2013, coming off the bench to score a try in England's 32–3 win.[4] Earlier in the tour he played in an uncapped match against a Consur XV, and scored a hat-trick of tries in six minutes.

England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster selected Vunipola in his squad for the Autumn Internationals.[5]

Vunipola was named man of the match for the Scotland–England, England-Ireland and France-England matches in the 2016 Six Nations Championship.

British and Irish LionsEdit

In April 2017, Vunipola was selected as the one of the 41 British and Irish Lions to tour New Zealand in the summer alongside his brother Mako Vunipola. However, due to an ongoing shoulder injury, he withdrew from the squad on 21 May 2017 and was replaced by England back-row teammate James Haskell.[6]

International triesEdit

As of 26 September 2019 [7]
Try Opposing team Location Venue Competition Date Result Score
1   Argentina Salta, Argentina Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena 2013 Tour of Argentina 8 June 2013 Win 32 – 3
2   Italy London, England Twickenham Stadium 2015 Six Nations 14 February 2015 Win 47 – 17
3   France London, England Twickenham Stadium 2015 Six Nations 25 March 2015 Win 55 – 35
4   Fiji London, England Twickenham Stadium 2015 Rugby World Cup 18 September 2015 Win 35 – 11
5   Australia Sydney, Australia Sydney Football Stadium 2016 Tour of Australia 25 June 2016 Win 44 – 40
6   Scotland London, England Twickenham Stadium 2017 Six Nations 11 March 2017 Win 61 – 21
7   Wales London, England Twickenham Stadium 2019 Rugby World Cup warm-up match 11 August 2019 Win 33 – 19
8   United States Kobe, Japan Kobe Misaki Stadium 2019 Rugby World Cup 26 September 2019 Win 45 – 7[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Vunipola's father is former Tonga captain Fe'ao Vunipola and his mother is a Methodist minister in High Wycombe, Rev. Iesinga Vunipola (who is also a chaplain to the UK Tongan Community).[2] He is the nephew of two other former international players, Manu and 'Elisi Vunipola who both represented Tonga in the 1990s. His brother, Mako Vunipola is his teammate and plays at prop for Saracens and England.


  1. ^ a b "Billy Vunipola". Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b Chadband, Ian (7 March 2013). "England v Italy: Vunipola brothers Mako and Billy want Mum to see their Sunday best". Daily Telegraph.
  3. ^ Souster, Mark (7 September 2013). "Billy Vunipola hopes to confirm brotherly love for Saracens". Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Argentina 3–32 England". Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  5. ^ Robert Kitson (22 October 2013). "Chris Robshaw set to be confirmed as England captain for Australia clash | Sport". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  6. ^ "Billy Vunipola withdraws from Lions squad". British and Irish Lions. 21 May 2017. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  7. ^ "Billy Vunipola". 7 July 2019.
  8. ^ "England 45-7 United States". Retrieved 26 September 2019.

External linksEdit