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RFU statement: Billy Vunipola issued with formal warning

By Liam Heagney
England's Billy Vunipola (Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images)

The RFU have issued Billy Vunipola with a formal warning that will remain on his record and could count against him in any future disciplinary proceedings. The England No8 was arrested in Spain last week during a trip to Mallorca with Saracens.

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Vunipola was tasered twice in a bar before his arrest. He has since paid a €240 fine following an express trial after he was charged with resisting the law.

Saracens launched an internal investigation following Vunipola’s return to England and it soon emerged that the back-rower would have no further action taken against him by the club.

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Their statement read: “We condemn the behaviour and have warned Billy about his future conduct. We now look forward to the remainder of the Gallagher Premiership season, and consider this case closed.”

The RFU have now had their say in the matter, issuing Vunipola with a warning that will stay on his record for five years.

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Gallagher Premiership
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20 - 41
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Saracens
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“The RFU have reviewed the information Saracens provided following its investigation into the incident involving Billy Vunipola in Mallorca on April 27, which resulted in the club issuing him with a formal warning,” read a statement on Thursday.

“We have also considered the apologies Billy has provided, his clear contrition, and the circumstances around the incident and have concluded the most appropriate course of action is to issue a formal warning under RFU regulation 19.6.13.

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“This warning will sit on his record for five years and may be relied upon in future disciplinary proceedings.

“It has been made clear to Billy that as a senior and respected player, such actions risk bringing the game as a whole into disrepute.

“In particular, such actions clearly go against the core values of rugby which collectively the sport works hard to promote.”

Now 31, Vunipola won’t be playing under the RFU umbrella for the next two seasons as he has agreed to a two-year deal to join Montpellier in the French Top 14.

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As well as ending his 11-year stay with Saracens, he won’t be available for Test squad selection due to the eligibility rule preventing Steve Borthwick from selecting players who play their club rugby outside England.

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