Former England Captain Slams Billy Vunipola Following Controversial Interview

Opportunity.

Former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio has slammed Billy Vunipola for failing to “defuse the situation” following his controversial decision to support Israel Folau’s controversial homophobic outburst.

Vunipola took to social media in support of the Australian who is now fighting for his career, having had his contract terminated by Rugby Australia pending a hearing next month. He has since been handed formal warnings from both Saracens and the RFU.

The England number eight was booed before and during Saracens’ Champions Cup semi-final clash with Munster on Saturday, but was named man-of-the-match in an impressive performance.

In his post-match interview, Vunipola refused to back down on his comments, stating:

“I believe in what I believe in.”

And Dallaglio has slammed Vunipola for not taking that opportunity to apologise to people he has offended and “defuse the situation” while highlighting that he is yet to take the controversial post down from social media despite everything that has happened.

“I don’t agree with what he said, seemingly backing up his mate Israel Folau,” he told talkSPORT.

“He said it’s his own views but they are clearly not views that are shared by the rest of his team-mates. They are not views shared by his club Saracens.

“It brings up this whole subject of what is acceptable and what is right for anyone to put out there on social media. He hasn’t taken down his Instagram post that he’s been warned for.

“And he had an opportunity, because Austin Healey somehow named him man of the match at the weekend – he did play well but there was a number of other players who could easily have been man of the match.

“Given that opportunity, Billy Vunipola had the opportunity to defuse the situation, apologise to people, which he didn’t do.”

“It’s a very sensitive subject at the moment, not just homophobia but racism. We are starting to see it far, far too regularly and it’s something we need to sort out, stamp out.”