Monday 22

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.

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