SAPPORO, Sep 17 - It might surprise their fans, but two Vunipolas could still be involved in England's opening Rugby World Cup match against Tonga at the Sapporo Dome on Sunday.
Prop Mako Vunipola is not available to England coach Eddie Jones because he is recovering from injury, but that still leaves brother Billy. The other Vunipola is in the Ikale Tahi squad in the guise of prop Vunipola Fifita.
Even though one is a surname and one is a first name, they are related.
"It goes back to our grandparents, they were cousins," Fifita, above, said. "I last saw them when I was on a schoolboy tour, so it will be great to catch up."
Fe'ao Vunipola, father of Billy and Mako, was captain of Tonga and played in RWC 1995 and 1999. He moved his family to Pontypool in Wales 21 years ago, but it has been with England that his two sons have made their name.
Fifita, who at 23 is the second-youngest member of the Tonga squad, never imagined he would face his relatives at such a tournament. "I'm so excited to be part of a World Cup. I was not even thinking about it until a couple of months ago."