Skip to main content

Home News News World

England rugby star Billy Vunipola reiterates support for Israel Folau’s homophobia

Forget the sin bin - he can just get in the bin at this point.

By Will Stroude

England rugby star Billy Vunipola has doubled down on his support for Israel Folau’s homophobia, saying: “I’ve made my position clear.”

The Saracens player, 27, was heavily criticised last year after he publicly ‘liked’ an Instagram post from Australian rugby player Folau claiming gay people are destined for “hell”.

Folau, a devout Christian, was later dismissed from Rugby Australia in disgrace over his repeated homophobic posts, while Vunipola, also a practising Christian, was issued with a formal warning by Saracens.

View this post on Instagram

Bring that same energy next week. #rugby

A post shared by Billy Vunipola (@vunipola_billy) on

Defending his support of Folau’s post at the time, Vunipola insisted he did not “hate” gay people, but added that “Man was made for woman to pro create [sic]”.

More than a year later, it’s clear Vunipola feels no remorse for his public displays of homophobia, after the sportsman said he would declare his support for the post again.

Reflecting on the incident on The Good, The Bad & The Rugby podcast, the former Harrow pupil said: “I could easily have been: ‘I’m not going to support this.’ I didn’t sleep for two or three days after I saw [Folau’s] post because something inside me was saying: ‘Do you actually believe in Jesus Christ or do you not?’

“I didn’t enjoy being ridiculed but at the same time what I did find comforting is that I stood up for my faith and I didn’t just fall by the wayside.

“[Now] I wouldn’t go about it the same way. I’d talk to whoever had any questions.

“If it happened again now and I was asked: ‘Billy, do you stand in support of it?’ I would have to say yes because I’ve made my position clear.”