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Is Billy Vunipola Tongan and which team did England Rugby World Cup 2019 star’s dad play for? – The Sun

ENGLAND are in Japan looking to win their first Rugby World Cup since 2003.

Eddie Jones' side are in Japan and looking to make a strong start to the tournament – with Billy Vunipola in the starting line-up against Tonga.

Is Billy Vunipola Tongan?

BOTH Billy and brother Mako Vunipola are set to play a big part in England's World Cup bid this autumn.

The pair have emerged as two dangerous options for the Red Rose at No8 and prop, as Jones' side look to put to bed the disappointment of 2015.

Billy began his career at Wasps, but currently plays for Saracens and made his England debut in 2013.

He heads to Japan having won 45 caps and scoring 35 tries for his country.

His brother Mako is also at Saracens and made his England bow a year earlier in 2012.

Billy was born in Australia and Mako was born in New Zealand – and are the sons of former Tongan captain Feʻao Vunipola.

He appeared at the 1995 and 1999 World Cup and moved to Wales in 1999 to join up with Pontypool.

Fe'ao and his wife Iesinga settled in the area and raised Billy and Mako in the country.

As a result, both players are eligible to play for Tonga, Wales and England – but opted to play for the Red Rose after starring in the youth teams.

And Billy can't wait to line up against Tonga in England's World Cup opener having never faced them before in internationals.

He told the Evening Standard: "It will be the first time [I will have played] against Tonga if I’m selected.

"It will be very emotional, even thinking about it now. It’s where we come from, where we grew up.

It would be even better to play them in Tonga, that would be crazy, unreal. Hopefully, in the future, that could happen.

“For us as a group, though, there are bigger goals than just playing against Tonga, no disrespect to them. We want to win this thing, we want to be serious about that and put it out there that we do want to win [the World Cup].”

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