Mako Vunipola

Mako Vunipola
Full name Makovina Wanangarua I Whanga Nui-Atara Vunipola
Date of birth (1991-01-14) 14 January 1991
Place of birth Wellington, New Zealand
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 130 kg (290 lb; 20 st 7 lb)[1]
School Porth County Community School

West Monmouth School[2]
The Castle School

Notable relative(s) Billy Vunipola
Rugby union career
Current status
Current team Saracens F.C.
Playing career
Position Loosehead prop
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
correct as of 23 January 2016.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)

England U18
England U20
British and Irish Lions


correct as of 26 November 2016.

Mako Vunipola (born 14 January 1991) is a New Zealand-born England international rugby union player. He plays at Prop for Saracens in the Aviva Premiership.

Early life

Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Vunipola was raised for much of his childhood in Wales and attended Porth County Community School, and later West Monmouth School. His family then moved to Thornbury, South Gloucestershire, and he attended the local comprehensive The Castle School and then Millfield.

Club career


Vunipola began his professional career at Bristol Rugby, and began to build his reputation in the South West, where his loose play was first perceived as outstanding.


Vunipola was signed at the end of the 2010-11 RFU Championship season by the 2010-11 Aviva Premiership Champions Saracens.[3]

International career

Vunipola represented the England U18 and U20 teams.[4] He was called up to the England Saxons Squad in September 2012 to replace Dave Wilson, who was promoted to the senior squad.[5] He was then called up to the England Squad in October 2012 for the Autumn Internationals, before making his debut from the bench against Fiji on 10 November 2012. He scored his first try for England during a 52-11 win over Italy.[6]

In 2013 Vunipola was selected for the British & Irish Lions tour to Australia, playing in all three tests.[7][8]

Personal life

Vunipola is the son of former Tongan captain Fe'ao Vunipola and Methodist Minister, Rev. Iesinga Vunipola (who is also Chaplain to the UK Tongan Community).[9] He is also the nephew of two other former international players, Manu and 'Elisi Vunipola who both represented Tonga in the 1990s. His early rugby career began playing for New Panteg RFC, playing alongside current Welsh Number 8 Toby Faletau. He also has a brother, Billy Vunipola who plays at number 8 for Saracens and England.


  1. "Aviva Premiership Rugby - Saracens". web page. Premier Rugby. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  3. "Mako Vunipola To Leave For Saracens". Bristol Rugby. 2011-04-06. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  5. "BBC Sport - Dave Wilson wins promotion to England's elite player squad". 2012-09-25. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  6. BBC Sport. Six Nations 2014: England hammer Italy and wait on Ireland
  7. "VIDEO – England announce 32-man squad for QBE Internationals". 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  8. Paul Rees (2013-04-30). "Jonny Wilkinson turned down Lions chance, says Warren Gatland". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
  9. Chadband, Ian (7 March 2013). "England v Italy: Vunipola brothers Mako and Billy want Mum to see their Sunday best". London: Daily Telegraph.
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