Vunipola using pressure as motivation for Australia

Mako Vunipola says England must now put pressure on themselves in the build-up to their second Old Mutual Wealth Test, against Australia, at Twickenham Stadium next weekend.

Eddie Jones’ men registered a hard fought 21-8 win over Argentina on Saturday, bringing up their fourth consecutive victory against Los Pumas in 12 months, but Vunipola warns improvement is needed.

“As a squad we need to look at the Argentina game and see where we can improve,” he said.

“If we don’t have cohesiveness, then Australia being the team they are and in the form they are in at the moment, will take you apart.

“Pressure will be ramped up this week, we as players need to put pressure on ourselves. We need to be demanding with each other.”

Brilliant at basics

The 26-year-old played a crucial part in England’s first score on Saturday, as he tempted the Argentine defence in, before deftly lifting a pass to George Ford who in turn put Nathan Hughes away for his first Test try. “It is all about consistency"

And Vunipola, who was later named Old Mutual Wealth Man of the Match, urges England to get those basic skills right in order to compete with the best teams in the world.

“It is all about consistency, not the big things; it is about doing your job as well as you can and all the small things – then everything else falls into place,” he added.

“We know that as a team, and we know we have to be brilliant at the basics. That is what you get from the world class sides like New Zealand, and we want to be better at that.”

Cook Cup clash

Australia is the next test lying in wait for England, and Michael Cheika’s men enter the affair in fine form having won their last four matches, including a 23-18 result against New Zealand in the Rugby Championship last month.

England have beaten the Wallabies in their last four encounters, scoring 143 points in total, and Vunipola – who featured in those Tests – believes next Saturday’s clash will be just as tough.

“We have to improve our own scrum ahead of Australia; it is always a big challenge set-piece wise against the Aussies,” he explained.

“They are a good side. For us it is an opportunity to improve on what we did against Argentina.

“We know Australia we be a tough opponent, but one we are very much looking forward to.”


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