By Nik Simon for the Daily Mail
Published: 22:08 GMT, 31 October 2019 | Updated: 23:57 GMT, 31 October 2019
England have spent months fine-tuning their scrum, but Mako Vunipola has been receiving some last-minute tips from an unlikely source — his Auntie Pauline.
South Africa’s pack weigh in at 141st 10lb and they have over-powered most scrums on their way to Saturday’s World Cup final. Hours have been spent studying video footage of binds, angles and engagements. But nothing quite matches Vunipola’s family advice.
‘I get a few messages from my Auntie Pauline,’ said prop Vunipola. ‘Most of them are encouraging — Bible verses to keep me on my toes and keep my feet on the ground. I’m sure she will probably have a few words to say just before we go to the game. She will say what to look out for in the scrum. “This guy goes in at this angle”, or whatever.
Mako Vunipola has been taking advice from his aunt on how to stop the Springboks pack
The Springboks' forwards have been the driving force behind their charge to Saturday's final
‘She didn’t play, but she had six brothers who played, so that’s enough. I’m very lucky that my aunties support me and have the time to get in touch.’
It is not just Mako who has been receiving pointers from Auntie