Mako Vunipola hopes Saracens move earns England call

Mako Vunipola
Vunipola's father Fe'ao played international rugby for Tonga

Departing Bristol prop Mako Vunipola hopes moving to Premiership side Saracens will improve his chances of an England call-up.

New Zealand-born Vunipola, 20, came through the Bristol academy and made 33 first-team appearances this season before agreeing a switch to Sarries.

"You always want to achieve big goals and playing for England is the biggest," he told BBC Radio Bristol.

"Moving to a bigger club will definitely help me."

Vunipola has previously played for England Under-20s and helped them win a Grand Slam at this year's Six Nations

He will travel to Italy in June as part of the U20 Junior World Cup squad.

Despite only breaking into the Bristol first team this season, Vunipola believes he can make an impact in the Premiership.

"Obviously Saracens are a strong team, they've got a strong front row, they've been doing well this year and I know it's going to be a tough challenge for me personally," he said.

"Being a young player in the front row, I've got to be confident in myself and try and push myself.

"I'm maybe a bit too confident sometimes but if you're not confident of yourself then why play?

"This year I've surprised myself in how many games I've played for Bristol - it gave me confidence and belief to try and push myself."

Vunipola, who was thought to be a target for several Premiership clubs including Bath, admits it is tough to leave Bristol behind.

"I don't think it's sunk in yet. I went for a training session at Clifton today. It's a bit weird, I've grown up in Bristol and I've been here for a few years now so it's like leaving my home," he said.

"You've got to move on in life but I'll look forward to coming back. I think I'm going to really miss the place.

"Looking at the team and the players Liam [Middleton, coach] has signed, he's looking to build a team around the youngsters. Hopefully next year they'll be top four.

"All the players seem happy with the appointment of Liam, I think he'll step up to the plate hopefully next year he'll make the big step and take them on to bigger things."

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