RFU formally warn England forward over apparent support of Israel Folau


genuine regret

Vunipola posted a homophobic message on Instagram while appearing to back the under-fire Australia star

Billy Vunipola has been formally warned by the Rugby Football Union for a homophobic comment made on Instagram while appearing to express support for Australia’s Israel Folau.

Vunipola was summoned to talks by the RFU to discuss a post that read: “Man was made for woman to pro create [sic] that was the goal no?”.

Vunipola has been ‘reminded of his responsibilities’ by the RFU

England’s number eight also liked a social media post by Australia full-back and fellow devout Christian Folau, who stated ‘hell awaits’ for ‘homosexuals’.

View this post on Instagram

Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him. _______________ Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these , adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:19‭-‬21 KJV _______________ Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 2:38 KJV _______________ And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Acts 17:30 KJV _______________

A post shared by Israel Folau (@izzyfolau) on

An RFU statement read: “Following a meeting between the RFU and Billy Vunipola, the Saracens forward has been issued with a formal warning under RFU rule 5.12 for conduct prejudicial to the interests of the union or the game.”

Vunipola has escaped a fine or ban from Twickenham, making him available for England’s four warm-up Tests ahead of this autumn’s World Cup.

The RFU statement continued: “The warning will be retained on his disciplinary record for a period of five years and may be taken into account in future disciplinary proceedings.

“During the meeting the player expressed genuine regret at his public comments and understood that he had caused hurt and offence as a result of his actions.


“He has been reminded of his responsibilities as an England player and as an ambassador for the game, which values inclusivity and respect.”

Saracens conducted their own internal investigation and, following lengthy discussions with Vunipola, a formal warning was issued, but the club also opted against imposing a fine or suspension.

The English champions said he was guilty of a ‘serious error of judgement’ and that by publicly sharing a view that is at odds with their values, he had contravened his contract.

In his own statement, Vunipola insisted his ‘intention was never to cause suffering’, but stopped short of offering an apology.

Despite clarifying his position, the offending post remains visible on his Instagram account.

On Saturday the 26-year-old, whose mother is a Methodist minister, was booed during his appearance as a second-half replacement against Bristol.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said ‘I’m sure there’s stuff going on in his head’, but will pick Vunipola for Saturday’s European semi-final against Munster at Allianz Park.

Folau has been told by Rugby Australia that he is in breach of its code of conduct and will have his four-year contract terminated, subject to the 48-hour window for him to appeal.





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