Viliami Vunipola – generally known as “Billy” – was born in Australia of Tongan parents but is now very much part of the England Rugby set-up for the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup. The family moved to the UK when Billy was about six and his father Fe’ao Vunipola played for Pontypool and Pontypridd, as well as representing Tonga in the 1995 and 1999 World Cups.
As Billy’s career has progressed, the family values he grew up with have remained important to him: “My mum and dad are the biggest influences on us staying grounded, especially my mum. She always thinks that a setback is something that makes you stronger and something that is there to help you get better. She’ll always say we’ve done well but she always put at the end, ‘Thank God’ as it’s not our doing, it’s someone else’s.
“I never ask that we win or that I play well, I just pray for protection, I think that’s the biggest thing. Just that I would have strength and energy to do not only myself proud but my family and everyone...
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