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Billy Vunipola says brother Mako Vunipola turns into a role model after a pint but reverts to type after two
5:00pm Monday 19th May 2014 in Sport
Billy Vunipola is surrounded by potential role models at Saracens but the 21-year-old insists older brother Mako has done as good a job as any this year.
Following two seasons at London Wasps – and facing prop Mako on the field – the No.8 completed the switch to Allianz Park last summer.
He has gone from strength to strength since then, racking up eight England caps and helping Sarries to an Aviva Premiership semi-final and Heineken Cup final.
And he believes living with his brother for the year – and sharing the occasional beer – has worked wonders.
“He has been a massive influence, whether he thinks it or not he has been,” said Vunipola.
“It has been fun and the experience that he had from last year of him accelerating to England and then to the Lions tour, he has laid a lot of that on me and I like to think I have taken a lot of it in.
“He has learnt to work hard since he has been as Saracens and he has told me to success you have to do that – I have tried to work hard and I think I have.
“He’s not one to talk when he’s sober – I shouldn’t say this! A few of our more touching moments have been when he has drank a pint and maybe we are watching a game and he changes into kind of like a role model then – but he snaps out of it quite quickly when he has had two pints.”
Whatever happened in Saracens’ Premiership semi-final clash with Harlequins on Saturday; the North London club are guaranteed one final this season – against reigning European champions Toulon.
Vunipola admits appearing in a Heineken Cup final will go well above and beyond his expectations this season, but he is hesitant to get ahead of himself.
“It is an awesome prospect but I get scared of talking about things like that because I never know what could happen on Saturday or next week,” he added.
“I have to try and get myself good for the game and see how it goes and hopefully it is us coming out on top.
“It is quite surreal that we are in a final but we have still got a game before it and that’s the thing – we have."
Be part of the world’s biggest club rugby final. Buy your tickets for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on 31 May at Twickenham from www.tickethour.co.uk/premierrugby
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