Tuesday 21

Rugby Union

Billy adamant England are moving forward

21st March 2019, 19:03 by Jack Ogalbe

England number eight Billy Vunipola insists there were positives to take from the team's stuttering Six Nations campaign.

Beating Ireland on the opening weekend sparked talk of a Grand Slam before a poor second half in Cardiff handed Wales the impetus, and Warren Gatland's side went on to claim the clean sweep last Saturday.

Wales' own victory over the Irish meant England could no longer win the Championship and the Red Rose were almost embarrassed at home by Scotland.

Despite taking a 31-0 lead, Eddie Jones' side squandered their advantage and only rescued a 38-38 draw thanks to George Ford's late score.

There were, however, plus points to come from the tournament, most notably the form of Vunipola, who started every game after missing the autumn internationals following a torrid run of injuries.

Speaking on a Land Rover promotional day, the 26-year-old was adamant the team are heading in the right direction, with the 2019 World Cup looming.

Vunipola said: "With my recent history of injuries, I'm probably a bit slow to get started with but I'm getting there and I think the more I play, the better I'll get.

"At the end of the day, we wanted to have confidence going into the next batch of games that we have, which is in August before the World Cup, and I think we got that."

On the Scotland game, he added: "We started like a house on fire against Scotland and I guess it got put out, but that's the way it goes, that's the way games go and for us it's just another learning curve.

"We've just got to keep learning now and hopefully put it into action when we get back together as a group later this year for the warm-up games and the World Cup."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Jack Ogalbe has been working for the team since his student days, having enjoyed a successful placement. He is an avid West Ham fan but also enjoys writing on rugby union, golf, tennis and cycling.

More Southern Kings

Rugby Union

Hammersley departs Falcons for Sale

21st May 2019, 14:00

Simon Hammersley has exercised a relegation clause to depart Newcastle Falcons and returns to the Premiership with Sale Sharks.

Rugby Union

Leinster rocked by Toner blow

20th May 2019, 13:39

Leinster have been hit by the news Ireland lock Devin Toner will be missing for Saturday's Pro 14 final with Glasgow.

Rugby Union

Botha deal delights Kidney

20th May 2019, 13:20

London Irish chief Declan Kidney has revealed his delight after the Exiles secured the services of Sharks forward Ruan Botha.

Rugby Union

Hansen plays down Williams concerns

20th May 2019, 10:02

New Zealand boss Steve Hansen claims Sonny Bill Williams only needs to prove his fitness to be considered for a World Cup spot.

Rugby Union

Traynor announces plans to retire

19th May 2019, 15:53

Gloucester prop Kyle Traynor has announced that he will call time on his career at the end of the Premiership season.

Rugby Union

Hartley comeback hopes for Saints

19th May 2019, 13:15

Dylan Hartley could return from a long-term knee injury in Northampton's Premiership play-off semi-final at Exeter next Saturday.

Recent Sport Headlines

AC Milan

Milan may be forced to sacrifice star keeper

21st May 2019, 16:31

AC Milan will cash in on keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma if they miss out on a spot in next season's Champions League.


Archer prepared for World Cup challenge

21st May 2019, 16:28

Jofra Archer says his relative lack of ODI experience does not worry him ahead of the World Cup after he was named in England's squad.

Swansea City

Swans star set for United move

21st May 2019, 16:24

Swansea winger Daniel James is believed to have agreed personal terms with Manchester United but a fee is yet to be decided.

Sheffield Wednesday

Wednesday set sights on Latics midfielder Morsy

21st May 2019, 16:24

Sheffield Wednesday have been linked with a move for Sam Morsy but they could face competition for the Wigan midfielder.


Arsenal handed Mkhitaryan blow ahead of Europa League final

21st May 2019, 16:18

Arsenal coach Unai Emery has confirmed that he will be without Henrikh Mkhitaryan for the Europa League final this month.


Clarke not wiling to chase retired players

21st May 2019, 15:08

Scotland coach Steve Clarke claims he will not follow other coaches and 'chase down' players who have retired from international duty.


Firmino gives Reds major CL final boost

21st May 2019, 14:48

Roberto Firmino has given Liverpool an early fitness boost for the Champions League final by returning to training.

Formula 1

Lauda is 'irreplaceable' at Mercedes - Wolff

21st May 2019, 14:17

Mercedes have lost a "guiding light", according to boss Toto Wolff in response to the news that chairman Niki Lauda has died, aged 70.