British & Irish Lions prop Mako Vunipola believes he is back to his best after having to endure an injury-disrupted 12 months.
The 24-year-old starred in all three Tests for the Lions against Australia in 2013, but missed England’s tour to New Zealand – who will host the Lions in 2017 – last summer.
He also sat out the subsequent autumn internationals after undergoing knee surgery and did not return to league action for club side Saracens until November.
But, with the curtain set to come down on his season this month, Vunipola looks back on his absence positively, with the enforced break now leaving him feeling in top condition again.
“It was hard at first, but now I’m back playing and you see how the guys are who have played the whole year, they are struggling,” he told ESPN.
“It is more a mental struggle than anything, they are mentally fatigued.
“It was frustrating not to be involved at the start of the year with the injury. More than anything I knew I wasn’t at full level and I was off a little bit. That was very frustrating.
“It’s nearly a year now since I had the injury and everything is going well. I just want to play as well as I can before a big summer. I still feel I can improve and I feel I can give a lot more to Saracens.”
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