Mako Vunipola up for battle to reclaim England starting place
Last Updated: 11/12/18 6:38am
Mako Vunipola has vowed to fight his way back into the England squad after more than two months out with a calf injury.
The 27-year-old prop missed all four of England's November internationals, with Exeter Chiefs looseheads Ben Moon and Alec Hepburn starting two Tests apiece.
Vunipola was named man of the match after helping Saracens beat Cardiff Blues 51-25 in the Champions Cup on Sunday but says the only way for him to get back into the England team was to keep excelling at club level.
"Whenever someone gets injured it's an opportunity for someone else," he said. "That's how I got a chance.
"To be fair [Moon and Hepburn] came in and did exactly what Eddie and all of the coaches asked of them.
"I thought Ben came in and pushed really hard, so I've got a job to do playing well for Sarries and hopefully put my hand up for selection again."
After edging South Africa by a point at Twickenham, England lost to New Zealand by the same margin before recording convincing victories over Japan and Australia to end 2018 on a high after struggling earlier in the year.
Vunipola, who won his most recent England cap against South Africa on June 16, said regaining full fitness was never going to automatically guarantee him a return to the squad given the level of competition for places.
"No that's never the case," he added. "Obviously I've had the experience of being in the England camp but for me it's just playing well for Sarries and doing my bit to keep improving."