Apr 06, 2018
Borthwick comment inspires Vunipola
One game between Saracens and Northampton Saints has stuck in Mako Vunipola’s mind six years down the line because of a comment from former captain Steve Borthwick.
Back in 2012, Sarries defeated their Aviva Premiership rivals 16-6 at Franklin’s Gardens with loosehead prop Vunipola questioning how they had recorded a victory against the eventual play-off winners.
The England international expressed his views to Borthwick and his response has stayed with him, continuing to spur him on.
“It was actually one of my first games against them away at their place,” Vunipola said.
“Steve Borthwick was still captain and John Smith was here as well. I remember that game as it was one my first Premiership 80 minutes which wasn’t great at the time – pretty tough on the lungs!
“At the end I spoke to Steve and said ‘I don’t know how we won that game!’ and he said something that has stuck with me since – ‘when you have a great team, you always find a way of overcoming difficulties’ and for me that’s something that’s grown with this team.
“Yes, we lost at the weekend (against Leinster) but there are opportunities coming up and that’s the exciting thing.”
Sarries have four games remaining in the regular campaign starting at Northampton on Sunday.
The Men in Black have already faced and defeated Saints three times this term and Vunipola is out to put on another impressive display.
He said: “Every time we go out on the pitch we’re going to try and make it our best performance of the season.
“Every time we play Northampton we know we’re in for a battle and it’ll be no change this weekend. Even though we’ve played them three times this year, we know this one is going to be the toughest one.
“We’re looking forward to the game on Saturday and we know how tough it’ll be. Hopefully we’ll go there and put a performance in to be proud of.”