The RFU have formally warned Billy Vunipola over his recent social media activitiy in support of Israel Folau.
Yesterday both Saracens and Vunipola released statements following the post with Vunipola stating: “I can see that my recent post has hurt people. My intention was never to cause suffering. My intention was to express my belief in the word of God. These beliefs are a source of great strength, comfort and guidance in my life. This is deeply personal and does not represent the views of my team.
“Anyone who knows me, knows I live with kindness and love towards ALL people.
“I have faith. My Christian faith has sustained me through the ups and many downs of my life. God has given and continues to give me many reasons in life to be grateful.”
Now the RFU have had their say on the matter after meeting the number 8 and they’ve given him a stern warning over his future conduct.
“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.
“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 have also condemned Vunipola’s comments and stated yesterday “Senior representatives of the Club yesterday held lengthy discussions with Billy Vunipola regarding his recent social media activity.
“At Saracens, we are one family, open to all with the firm view that everyone should be treated equally with respect and humility. We recognise the complexity of different belief systems and understand Billy’s intention was to express the word of God rather than cause offence.
“However, he made a serious error of judgement in publicly sharing his opinion, which is inconsistent with the values of the Club and contravenes his contractual obligations. The player has been formally warned about his future conduct.”
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.