Saracens prop Mako Vunipola relishing top-of-the-table clash against Harlequins
By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter @SkysportsTC. Last Updated: March 24, 2013 1:21pm
Saracens prop Mako Vunipola believes Sunday's mouth-watering Aviva Premiership clash against Harlequins can be the perfect tonic to cure his Six Nations blues.
Vunipola caught the eye during the campaign for England, however he could do little to stop Wales derailing their Grand Slam bid in emphatic style.
England were humbled 30-3, with Vunipola and the other players left devastated by the manner of the loss in Cardiff.
However there is no chance of an easy return to domestic action, with the quirk of the fixture schedule pitting table-topping Saracens against second-placed Quins in the first time game back after the championship.
Vunipola, though, is relishing the prospect of taking on the defending Premiership champions.
"It is a big game between the top of the table sides so it will be intense," Vunipola told Sky Sports.
"But I think a big game against Quins is a great way to get back into it after Cardiff. It is a big challenge but it is one we are looking forward too."
The match at the Allianz Park will pit Vunipola against James Johnston in an intriguing front-row battle.
Samoa international Johnston will leave Quins at the end of the current campaign to team up with Saracens - and Vunipola is looking forward to taking on his future team-mate.
"He has been playing really well for Quins over the past couple of seasons so he will be an exciting signing for us," said Vunipola.
"It is a big game between the top of the table sides so it will be intense."
"However for now he is still playing for them so it will me good to test myself against him."
Vunipola's form this season has seen him touted as a potential tourist with the British and Irish Lions in the summer.
But the 22-year-old, who previously played for Bristol, is refusing to get carried away.
"It is fantastic to be mentioned in terms of the tour however I can't let it affect me and it is not something I can think about," he added.
"If I stand still then others will move past me, so I have to keep working hard and performing for Saracens."
Mako Vunipola was speaking to Sky Sports on receiving the Gatorade Game Changer Award for February. Gatorade are the official performance partner to Premiership Rugby. www.gatorade.co.uk/ @GatoradeUK