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BILLY VUNIPOLA quickly came to terms with the dangerous tackle that forced him to miss the start of the World Cup knowing that he was doing his “time for the crime.”
Vunipola received a two-match ban for a high challenge on Ireland’s Andrew Porter on August 19 and as a result sat out the final warm-up Test against Fiji and rout of Argentina that opened the tournament.
A week after delivering a 29-minute cameo on his comeback against Japan, he has been restored to the back row for the showdown with Chile in Lille.
The powerful number eight of Tongan heritage insists that having accepted his red card was warranted, he took comfort from rolling up his sleeves to contribute on the training field.
“There wasn’t much frustration there. I had to do my time for the crime I committed. It was just about getting my head down and helping the team,” Vunipola said.
“So once you get past that and you know you’re contributing to the team in a different way, you make peace with it.
“The worst part of not playing is having to do extra fitness! For me playing is huge. The more I can play, the better I am as a player. That’s a well-known fact for me personally, and from previous coaches.
“Hopefully I can go out there and play really well but until we get there, you don’t know.”
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