The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is seeking a meeting with Billy Vunipola after his defence of Israel Folau’s latest controversial social media posts.
Folau is set to be sacked by Rugby Australia after the Wallabies and Waratahs star sparked outrage with his opinions on homosexuality and gender this week.
The full-back, who escaped punishment for similar statements last year, was widely criticised but had support from England international Vunipola on Friday.
Vunipola took to his own Instagram account to explain why he had ‘liked’ Folau’s post, claiming his beliefs had been insulted but that he did not “hate” anyone.
He said: “Man was made for woman to procreate – that was the goal, no?”
The RFU stated the body does not agree with Vunipola’s comments, with the issue to be discussed with the player.
“Rugby is an inclusive sport, and we do not support these views,” a spokesperson said. “We will be meeting with Billy to discuss his social media posts.”
Vunipola’s club side Saracens also released a statement, promising to take the matter “very seriously”.
Club Statement regarding Billy Vunipola’s social media post.
— Saracens Rugby Club (@Saracens) April 12, 2019
“Saracens proudly embraces diversity and warmly welcomes everyone to the club regardless of race, gender, religion and sexual orientation,” it read.
“Our sport is open to all and we strive for it to be free from all forms of discrimination.
“We recognise that people have different belief systems and we expect everyone to be treated equally with respect and humility.
“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. It will be handled internally.”
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