Billy Vunipola has revealed his latest comeback from injury nearly hit the buffers - thanks to an Aussie Rules football.
Vunipola managed 59 minutes in the Premiership final last weekend despite a niggling hamstring which restricted him to 40 minutes action in the previous weekend's semi-final against Wasps.
The Saracens No 8 did not train at all in the lead up to last Saturday's showpiece against Exeter when his club regained the title and has not gone full tilt in the current England camp in Bagshot.
Billy Vunipola admitted his latest injury setback came from kicking an Aussie Rules ball
The 25-year-old has had a wretched 12 months with shoulder, knee and arm injuries forcing out of the British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand, the autumn internationals and the Six Nations.
And admits he did himself no favours with his hamstring by kicking an AFL ball and not confessing to his club coaches that he was struggling.
Vunipola said: 'I trained fully the week before the game against Wasps and I felt really good, but, it was my fault, I was doing some AFL kicking and then my hammy went tight