Veteran England number eight Billy Vunipola says they will be the first least favourite team to assume the role of public enemy when they take on Fiji in the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals in Marseille on Monday.
England has been very well supported by their travelling fans for the tournament in France, but that has left the neutrals filling the stadiums cheering for any team playing the English.
“I wouldn’t say Fiji are the second favourite team, I’d say England are the first least favourite team,” Vunipol told rugby.com.au
“In terms of being public enemy number one, we’re happy to take that mantle.”
He revealed there was “definitely an edge in training”.
“There’s the added pressure this week that if we don’t nail them we’re going home,” he said.
England assistant coach Richard Wigglesworth insisted that a clash with the Pacific Islanders in knock-out rugby was more than you could ask for.
“There was definitely not enough of the good stuff,” said the former scrum-half who played alongside Vunipola at Saracens.
In their final warm-up match before the World Cup, England registered a historic first loss to Fiji, going down 30-22 at Twickenham.
“This is a game we want,” he said.
“It’s a brilliant test for us to go against a team that beat us pre-World Cup when we were written off.”