Mako Vunipola: The English Tongan Prop of Rugby

Mako Vunipola: The English Tongan Prop of Rugby

Mako Vunipola is a prominent figure in the world of rugby, known for his exceptional skills as a prop for the English national team. Born in New Zealand to Tongan parents, Vunipola has made a name for himself as a powerful and agile player on the field. In this article, we will explore the career and achievements of this talented athlete, and delve into what makes him a standout player in the sport of rugby.

Early Life and Background

Mako Vunipola was born on January 14, 1991, in Wellington, New Zealand. He comes from a family with strong rugby roots, as his father Fe’ao Vunipola was also a rugby player who represented Tonga in international matches. Mako and his brother Billy Vunipola, who also plays for the England national team, grew up with rugby in their blood.

Tongan Roots

Despite being born in New Zealand, Mako Vunipola proudly identifies with his Tongan heritage. He has spoken about the influence of his Tongan upbringing on his rugby career, citing the importance of family, community, and respect in Tongan culture. This connection to his roots has shaped his approach to the game and has contributed to his success on the field.

Move to England

When Mako was just a child, his family made the move to England, where his father Fe’ao took up a coaching role with the Pontypool RFC. This move would prove pivotal in Mako’s rugby journey, as he would eventually go on to play for top English clubs like Saracens and earn a spot on the England national team. The transition to England allowed Mako to further develop his skills and fulfill his potential as a top prop in the world of rugby.

Rugby Career

Youth and Club Career

Mako Vunipola’s journey in rugby began in his youth where he displayed immense talent and passion for the sport. He honed his skills playing for various clubs before eventually making a name for himself in the professional rugby scene.

International Career

Vunipola’s international career is nothing short of impressive. Representing England in numerous matches, he has showcased his strength, agility, and technique on the field. His contributions to the English national team have solidified his reputation as a formidable prop in the world of rugby.


Throughout his career, Mako Vunipola has achieved numerous accolades and milestones. From winning prestigious tournaments to earning individual awards, his dedication and hard work have not gone unnoticed. Vunipola’s achievements serve as a testament to his talent and commitment to the sport of rugby.

Playing Style and Impact

Mako Vunipola is known for his powerful and dynamic playing style on the rugby field. As a prop, he is a key player in the forward pack, providing strength and stability in the scrum and around the field. His impact on the game is undeniable, with his ability to make big tackles, carry the ball effectively, and provide crucial support to his teammates.

Scrum Technique

Vunipola’s scrum technique is top-notch, as he is able to hold his own against some of the best scrummagers in the world. His strong body positioning and powerful leg drive make him a formidable force in the scrum, often leading to dominant scrum performances for his team. His ability to anchor the scrum and provide a solid platform for his team’s attack is a key aspect of his game.

Ball Carrying Ability

One of Vunipola’s standout attributes is his exceptional ball-carrying ability. As a prop, he is not only a strong scrummager but also a dynamic ball carrier who can break through defensive lines and gain valuable meters for his team. His combination of power and agility makes him a dangerous weapon in open play, often attracting multiple defenders and creating opportunities for his teammates.

Leadership Qualities

In addition to his on-field skills, Vunipola is also known for his leadership qualities. As a senior player and key figure in the team, he leads by example both on and off the field. His work ethic, dedication, and positive attitude have earned him the respect of his teammates and coaches, making him a natural leader within the squad. Vunipola’s ability to inspire and motivate those around him is a testament to his strong leadership qualities.


In conclusion, Mako Vunipola has proven himself to be a dominant force in the world of rugby, showcasing his exceptional skills and strength as a prop for the English national team. With his Tongan heritage adding a unique dimension to his play, Vunipola has become a fan favorite and a key player for his team. As he continues to excel on the field and inspire others with his talent, there is no doubt that Mako Vunipola will leave a lasting legacy in the sport of rugby.