Drinks on Vunipolas as Tonga beat Italy

Billy Vunipola (Getty Images)
Billy Vunipola (Getty Images)

London - England coach Eddie Jones praised the "rugby hearts" of Red Rose duo Mako and Billy Vunipola after revealing the brothers paid for Tonga's celebratory drinks following their win over Italy.

Tonga beat the Azzurri 19-17 last Saturday while prop Mako and back-row Billy were helping England defeat Argentina at Twickenham.

But afterwards the brothers did their bit to help Tonga mark a memorable away win, despite Billy suffering a knee injury that will rule him out of this weekend's clash at home to Australia.

Although the Vunipolas are qualified for England on residency grounds, their father Fe'ao is a former Tonga captain.

"We've been having a few texts here and there," Jones said on Thursday of Billy Vunipola.

"Rugby gives him an enjoyment. They're so pure those boys, they love rugby.

"Tonga won on the weekend and you know who funded the after-game drinks? The Vunipola boys. It's unbelievable how good hearts they have for rugby."

Saturday sees Nathan Hughes take Billy's place at No 8 and Jones added: "We miss him a lot but it's a great opportunity for Nathan to step up."

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