RFU will speak to Billy Vunipola over social media post defending Folau
England forward’s club Saracens say they will deal with the matter internally
Billy Vunipola has refused to unlike an Instagram post published by Israel Folau in which the Australia fullback made homophobic remarks. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
The English Rugby Football Union will be meeting with Billy Vunipola to discuss a recent social media post where the England No 8 appeared to defend Israel Folau, who faces the sack by Australia over homophobic comments.
“Rugby is an inclusive sport and we do not support these views. We will be meeting with Billy to discuss his social media posts,” an RFU spokeswoman said.
Vunipola’s club side, Saracens, have said they will deal with the matter internally. “We recognise that people have different belief systems and we expect everyone to be treated equally with respect and humility,” a club statement read.
“As representatives and role models, Saracens players have a responsibility not only to themselves but to the club and wider society. Billy Vunipola’s recent social media posts are inconsistent with this and we take this matter very seriously.”
Folau posted on Instagram that “hell awaits” homosexuals, with Rugby Australia stating they intend to terminate his contract, meaning he will miss this year’s World Cup. Vunipola ‘liked’ the post and then made further comments on social media on Friday.
“So this morning I got three phone calls from people telling me to ‘unlike’ the @izzyfolau post,” Vunipola wrote. “This is my position on it. I don’t HATE anyone neither do I think I’m perfect.
“There just comes a point when you insult what I grew up believing in, that you just say enough is enough, what he’s saying isn’t that he doesn’t like or love those people. He’s saying how we live our lives needs to be closer to how God intended them to be.
“Man was made for woman to pro create that was the goal no? I’m not perfect. I’m at least everything on that list at least at one point in my life. It hurts to know that. But that’s why I believe there’s a God. To guide and protect us and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
Vunipola has been named on the bench for Saracens’ Premiership clash with Bristol at Ashton Gate on Saturday.