Manu Vunipola (rugby union, born 2000)

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Manu Vunipola
Birth nameChristian Fainga Manu Mapu' Aho Ta Aki-M Vunipola[1]
Date of birth (2000-05-04) 4 May 2000 (age 19)
Place of birthAuckland, New Zealand
Height5 ft 11 in (180 cm)[1]
Weight202 lb (92 kg)[1]
SchoolHarrow School
Rugby union career
Position(s) Fly-half
Current team Saracens
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2018–present Saracens 10[1] (33[1])
Correct as of 28 February 2019

Manu Vunipola (born 4 May 2000)[2] is a New-Zealand born English rugby union fly-half for Saracens in Premiership Rugby. He has also represented England under-18s and England under-20s.

Personal life[edit]

Vunipola was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and grew up in Somerset, England.[3] He is the son of former Tongan international Elisi Vunipola,[3][4] and the cousin of Saracens teammates Billy and Mako Vunipola.[4][5][6][7] He attended The King Alfred School, Highbridge.[8] As a junior, he played for Burnham RFC,[3] and captained the Harrow School rugby team.[3][9]

Career[edit]

Club career[edit]

In 2017, Vunipola played for Saracens under-18s in the Aviva Premiership under-18s finals day.[10] Vunipola then played for Saracens Storm, the A team of Saracens, and also played on loan for Bishop's Stortford.[8] Vunipola made his Saracens debut in January 2019,[3] in a 2018–19 Premiership Rugby Cup match against Harlequins.[8][11] He made his Premiership Rugby debut in a 2018–19 match against Exeter Chiefs,[9][11] and later made his first Premiership Rugby start in a match against Worcester Warriors.[9]

In September 2019, Vunipola scored his first try for Saracens in a 2019–20 Premiership Rugby match against Wasps.[12] In January 2020, Vunipola scored 17 points in a 2019–20 European Rugby Champions Cup pool stage match, as Saracens beat Ospreys 22–15.[5] In the same month, referee Luke Pearce appointed Vunipola as Saracens captain, after Pearce decided he did not want to speak with Jackson Wray during a match against Harlequins.[13] In a February 2020 Premiership Rugby match against Sale, Vunipola scored 17 points and won a man of the match award.[7]

International career[edit]

In 2018, Vunipola was called up to the England under-18s team.[6] In total, he made four appearances for the team.[11] Vunipola made his first start for England under-20s in their final match of the 2019 Six Nations Under 20s Championship against Scotland under-20s.[14][15] He had made two previous substitute appearances in the tournament.[15] He was selected for the 2019 World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Argentina,[4] and also for the 2020 Six Nations Under 20s Championship.[16] He played in the Six Nations match against France under-20s in Grenoble,[13][17] but missed the match against Ireland under-20s after returning to Tonga for personal reasons.[18] As of February 2020, he has made nine appearances for England under-20s.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e . ESPNscrum. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  2. ^ . itsrugby.co.uk.
  3. ^ a b c d e . The Rugby Paper. 19 March 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  4. ^ a b c . World Rugby. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  5. ^ a b . Irish Independent. 12 January 2020. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  6. ^ a b . Ruck.co.uk. 2018. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  7. ^ a b Hathaway, Adam (15 February 2020). . The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  8. ^ a b c Collings, Simon (25 January 2019). . Evening Standard. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  9. ^ a b c . Saracens. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  10. ^ Lowe, Alex (17 February 2017). . The Times. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  11. ^ a b c d . England Rugby. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  12. ^ . BBC Sport. 21 September 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  13. ^ a b Morgan, Charlie (31 January 2020). . The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  14. ^ . Six Nations Rugby. 15 March 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  15. ^ a b . Ruck.co.uk. 2018. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  16. ^ . Six Nations Rugby. 3 January 2020. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  17. ^ . Hampstead & Highgate Express. 30 January 2020. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  18. ^ Watterson, Jonny (21 February 2020). . The Irish Times. Retrieved 8 March 2020.

External links[edit]