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Home » Rugby » Lawrence Dallaglio slams Billy Vunipola over support for homophobic post by Israel Folau 

Lawrence Dallaglio slams Billy Vunipola over support for homophobic post by Israel Folau 

‘We’re seeing homophobia and racism far too much in sport and it needs to be stamped out’: Former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio slams Billy Vunipola over support for homophobic post by Israel Folau

  • Lawrence Dallaglio criticised Billy Vunipola for not defusing homophobia furore
  • Vunipola was man of the match during Saracens win over Munster on Saturday
  • Dallaglio believes Vunipola should have used that platform to put things right
  • Vunipola ‘liked’ Australian Israel Folau’s divisive post about homosexuality 
  • The England No 8 then backed it up with a controversial post of his own 

Former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio has hit out at Billy Vunipola for not defusing the furore surrounding his social media posts when given the platform following Saracens’ win over Munster.

The Allianz Park outfit booked their place in the Champions Cup final following a 32-16 victory over Munster, in which Vunipola capped off a turbulent week by scoring a try.

It was arguably the toughest week of the England No 8’s career after he came under scrutiny for appearing to back up Israel Folau following the Australian’s divisive Instagram post about homosexuality.

England No 8 Billy Vunipola should have defused this furore, says Lawrence Dallaglio

England No 8 Billy Vunipola should have defused this furore, says Lawrence Dallaglio

Dallaglio said he was disappointed Vunipola didn't use his platform on Sunday to make amends for the social media backing of Israel Folau's extremely divisive comments made on Instagram

Dallaglio said he was disappointed Vunipola didn’t use his platform on Sunday to make amends for the social media backing of Israel Folau’s extremely divisive comments made on Instagram

Folau, a devout Christian, sparked controversy for the second time in 12 months after posting comments on social media that gay people were destined for ‘hell’ if they did not ‘repent’.  

Vunipola, 26, liked Folau’s post and then backed it up with his own — which includes the phrase ‘man was made for woman to procreate’. He has issued no apology and it is still online with more than 9,000 ‘likes’.

And Dallaglio believes that, after Austin Healey named Vunipola man of the match on Saturday, the back-rower should have seized the opportunity to make amends.

‘I don’t agree with what he said, seemingly backing up his mate Israel Folau,’ Dallaglio 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 – because 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.’

Vunipola scored a try during Saracens' win over Munster and was named man of the match – which Dallaglio believes was a perfect opportunity to put things right after a turbulent week

Vunipola scored a try during Saracens’ win over Munster and was named man of the match – which Dallaglio believes was a perfect opportunity to put things right after a turbulent week

Vunipola 'liked' this controversial Instagram post by Australian full back Folau

Vunipola ‘liked’ this controversial Instagram post by Australian full back Folau 

Vunipola posted this, which includes the phrase 'man was made for woman to procreate'

Vunipola posted this, which includes the phrase ‘man was made for woman to procreate’

Vunipola was reprimanded by the RFU for flouting guidelines set out in his contract which warn England ‘role models’ to behave on social media as if they were on children’s television. 

The England No 8 escaped a fine or ban but he was handed a formal warning by the RFU, his second such slap on the wrist after Saracens handed out a similar sanction, a stain which will remain on his record for five years and may be brought up in any future cases. 

Dallaglio went on to condemn the increasingly worrying trend of divisive behaviour in sport and called to kick it out for good. 

‘It’s a very sensitive subject at the moment,’ he added, ‘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.’

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