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Billy Vunipola knows he will be the cause of split loyalties when England open their 2019 World Cup campaign against Tonga in Sapporo on Sunday.
Not only are Vunipola’s parents Tongan, his father Fe’ao, a hooker, and uncle Elisi, then the captain and fly-half, played for Tonga against England at the 1999 World Cup.
That match, which Billy watched, saw England enjoy a 101-10 win after Tonga had prop Ngalu Taufo’ou sent off after 35 minutes for punching.
Billy and brother Mako were raised in Wales after their father took up a contract with Pontypool. They were later educated in England and the latest generation of rugby-playing Vunipola brothers opted to represent the Red Rose.
“I am Tongan, my parents are and my grandparents are so it will be very emotional,” said Billy Vunipola.
“I have to get my head right. With the country there will be split loyalties,” the powerhouse No. 8 added. “They want Tonga to win and I want England to win.”
Billy Vunipola will be the
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