Billy Vunipola admits to being surprised by the 11-match unbeaten run built by England under Eddie Jones since the team were dumped out of the Rugby World Cup. The Red Rose took another step towards finishing 2016 with a 100% record by defeating South Africa 37-21 at Twickenham.
Owen Farrell scored 23 points as the hosts defied 10 years of history to claim their first victory over the Springboks in 13 attempts. World number two England are now just three matches away from ending the year unbeaten - a far cry from their fortunes 12 months ago when they exited their home World Cup.
Defeats to Wales and Australia saw the team coached by Stuart Lancaster become the first host nation knocked out at the pool stage in tournament history. Since, England have won the Six Nations, the grand slam and whitewashed Australia while they are targeting four autumn international wins for the first time over the coming weeks.
"What I couldn't have foreseen is us going unbeaten," the 24-year-old World Rugby Player of the Year nominee told reporters. "It has been such a great environment to be involved in and hopefully we can keep pushing towards that goal of being number one in the world."
England began the Old Mutual Wealth Series in clinical, yet uncertain fashion with Jones demanding an improvement in time for the visit of Fiji on 19 November. The Australian has hinted he could make several changes to his match day squad for the game but Vunipola would be content with being part of an experimental side next weekend.
"I want to play every game," he added. "We've had a week off, I was raring to go this week. We've been training for two weeks, I play rugby to play by not to train. So for me I want to play and I want to train as hard as I can and if Eddie thinks I warrant a place in the team again so be it. If not then I'll go back to the drawing board.
"There were opportunities that we left out there but that is the team that we are now. We could definitely have exploited a few more opportunities and maybe we were not as clinical as we wanted to be. Look we managed to beat a team who is hurting, team who are very motivated as it washout first game for a few months so hopefully next week we can put something out that is a bit better."