Billy Vunipola: Saracens warn England forward about future conduct

Silvia Morton
April 16, 2019

If Folau chooses to fight the breach notice he will be forced to front a Code of Conduct hearing to give his defence.

Folau, speaking at a Truth Of Jesus Christ Church service in Sydney, stands by his view in posts that remain visible and would rather accept the end of his career than issue a retraction.

The 30-year-old devout Christian of Tongan descent posted on Instagram: "Drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators [sic] - Hell awaits you".

Wallabies sponsor Qantas was among the critics and Rugby Australia, which said it intends to sack him, is expected to issue a formal code of conduct breach notice later on Monday.

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

"It was made clear to him that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people due to their sexuality will result in disciplinary action".

Asked if he would be comfortable taking the field again alongside Folau, Wallabies and NSW Waratahs captain flanker Hooper said: "In this current state and being here and talking about this as a rugby player, it makes it hard, it makes it difficult".

Castle said all professional rugby players in Australia were bound by the code of conduct and there was a process in place for any disciplinary matter.

Hastings, the former Scotland and Lions centre, whose son Corey is gay, tweeted his disapproval of England worldwide Billy Vunipola's support for Folau's comments on Saturday from Singapore where he was commentating on the world sevens series event.

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"Getting out in that disrespectful manner publicly is not what our team's about".

When asked recently if he would pick his most risky attacking player, Cheika said: "You wouldn't be able to".

Folau is unrepentant over the post, which - along with Vunipola's - remains visible, adding that: "I believe His plans for me are better than whatever I can think".

In a statement on Saracens' website, he said: "I can see that my recent post has hurt people".

It comes as Folau says it will be "God's will" if his rugby career is ended over his comments that gay people will go to hell unless they repent. "If that's not to continue on playing, so be it", Folau said.

In his first interview since Rugby Australia announced its intention to terminate his Wallabies and Super Rugby contracts, Folau told the Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday he will walk away from rugby and his multi-million dollar income if God wills it.

"I have faith. My Christian faith has sustained me through the ups and many downs of my life". The 73-times capped Wallaby full-back had his contract with the Rugby Australia and New South Wales Waratahs ended after being warned following similar comments a year ago.

"I have love towards everyone that might be saying negative things". But at the end of the day it's not for me or anyone else to condemn a person, we don't know what goes in their life and what has bought them to where they are.

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