Vunipola delivered another incredible performance to power Saracens to a fourth Aviva Premiership title defeating reigning champions Exeter 27-10 at a sun-drenched Twickenham last Saturday. Vunipola carried the ball 15 times and made 18 tackles to round off a remarkable season, which followed on from his front row heroics for the British and Irish Lions in their drawn Test series with the All Blacks last summer.
Vunipola’s excellence gives England fans hope after being left baffled and bemused by the manner of defeat by the Barbarians and belief that there are players capable of giving the Springboks real problems.
Barritt, who was born in South Africa but became an England test regular winning 26 caps, on Monday signed a new two year contract with Saracens.
Barritt believes the Springboks will be prepared for the power Mako is going bring to the Test series, but they will not have experienced his all round game which is so important to club and country.
Barritt said: “Mako is the pinnacle at the moment and without doubt the best prop in the world. His impact on and off pitch is huge and he is a leader which makes him even more special and the things he can do are freakish for a loose head prop.
“His consistency of performance is unparalleled and to have that many impacts at set piece, ball carrying and tackling puts him on a different page to anyone else. We are very proud to have him in our team and he is someone who drives the club off the field as well as on it which makes him an unbelievable player.
“I am sure South Africa will realise that in the first game of the series and it would be naïve to think they are not aware of his special talent and what a physical specimen he is. In the last six weeks he has led this club with his impact on the pitch and been the leader in all parts of the organisation.”
Mako is much quieter than younger brother Billy who proved his fitness for the tour in the win over Exeter and both offer England head coach Eddie Jones real physicality.
“They are very different characters: “added Barritt. “Mako is an intense individual with high standards and demands that of others. We celebrate at Saracens that everyone is different.”
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.