ONE Oxford rugby coach will be able to count two Rugby World Cup-winning stars as family if England beat South Africa this weekend, writes JAMES ROBERTS.

Keni Fisilau will be paying particularly close attention to the fortunes of Billy and Mako Vunipola in Saturday’s final in Japan.

The England internationals are cousins of the Oxford Harlequins Under 18 academy coach’s wife and Fisilau has known the pair since they were children.

They even come from the same part of Tonga, the country Fisilau represented six times at international level betwen 1995 and 2005.

He said: “We’ve known Mako and Billy for many years and are all very close.

“I’m so proud of them – it’s amazing to see the level they’ve reached.”

Fisilau enjoyed a long playing career himself, moving to Quins in 2013 after 12 years at Championship side Plymouth Albion.

The centre found himself at the second-tier club thanks to the Vunipolas’ dad, Fe’ao, himself a former Tongan international who moved to Wales in 1998.

At that time, the Vunipola brothers would have been very young, but Fisilau insists that their raw ability was evident from an early age.

He said: “You knew when they were young that they were talented.

“They’re now world class and they have improved under (England boss) Eddie Jones.”

When his time at Plymouth ended, part of the reason Fisilau chose Oxford was because it was closer to the Vunipolas’ family home.

He turned out for Quins for several years and now helps bring through the next generation of players.

Despite his close relationship with two of England’s most important players, Fisilau will be watching the final at home with family.

It promises to be a nervous 80 minutes, but the ex-international is confident Jones’s men can bring home England’s second World Cup.

He said: “We support England and Tonga, but on Saturday we’ll definitely be supporting Mako and Billy.

“I’m 100 per cent sure England are going to do it.

“They look hungry.”

Oxford Harlequins host Stow-on-the-Wold in the preliminary round of the Oxfordshire cup tomorrow evening (7.30).