BILLY VUNIPOLA was given a dressing down by Saracens for backing shamed Australia star Israel Folau.
Wallabies full-back Folau sparked a storm with his anti-gay rant on social media.
Getty Images – Getty2 Billy Vunipola has been warned by Saracens over his support for Israel Folau
England No 8 Vunipola — a devout Christian — defended the post and drew further flak by posting: “Man was made for woman to procreate.”
But Sarries insisted he “made a serious error of judgment” and has been “formally warned about his future conduct”.
Folau’s contract has been terminated by Rugby Australia in the wake of the scandal.
Vunipola, 26, will also be hauled over the coals at a meeting with RFU chiefs this week.
He made a serious error of judgement
Saracens on Billy Vunipola
And in a statement, he said: “I can see 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 guidance in my life.
“This is deeply personal and does not represent the views of my team. My Christian faith has sustained me through the ups and many downs of my life.”
A Saracens statement added: “He made a serious error of judgment in 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.
“We recognise the complexity of different belief systems and understand Billy’s intention was to express the word of God — rather than cause offence.”
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Vunipola was backed by the Evangelical Alliance.
Spokesman Peter Lynas said: “Is he being disciplined for quoting scripture? For holding orthodox Christian beliefs or just for expressing them?
“Do rugby players have freedom of religion or is this another faith-free zone?”
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So this morning I got 3 phone calls from people telling me to ‘unlike’ the @izzyfolau post. 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.
PA:Press Association2 Israel Folau sparked outrage with the homophobic rant on social media