Billy Vunipola booed by Bristol fans as McCall reaffirms Saracens stance

Match Report Bristol Bears 23-21 Saracens

Billy Vunipola booed by Bristol fans as McCall reaffirms Saracens stance

Billy Vunipola tackles Israel Folau.

The expectation is that Saracens will still select Vunipola.

Vunipola faces a grilling by RFU bosses over his stated support for Australian Israel Folau who has been criticised over homophobic posts on social media, with his national union stating they meant to terminate his contract.

But the post-match discussion with McCall was dominated by Vunipola, who had controversially defended Folau. He therefore put his employers - Saracens and the RFU - in an extremely awkward position. We live in an age now where society requires us to accept that people are different.

Hastings, whose son Corey is in a same-sex marriage, spoke out in support of Nick Heath, a gay rugby commentator, who warned that Folau's comments could "cause harm to hundreds of thousands of people".

"Our sport is open to all and we strive for it to be free from all forms of discrimination".

"Rugby is inclusive and is expanding because of this".

There is no indication that England or Saracens will axe Vunipola in light of his views, but the national union will hold a meeting with him in the coming days.

The England global and Saracens star posted a lengthy message on his Instagram account yesterday morning, backing Folau's message from the previous day in which he claimed that "hell awaits. drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolators".

McGeechan did not want to comment on Folau and Vunipola's views. "Twitter and Instagram are global message boards and you can be sure that there are groups of people out there who are going to get upset, especially when you weigh in on controversial topics".

The club's director of rugby, Mark McCall, said it never crossed his mind to drop Vunipola for the Bristol game.

His club Saracens also plan to take action. Vunipola came off the bench in the defeat and was allegedly booed by the home crowd.

McCall said of Vunipola's mindset going into the match: "He is a human being and he is also keen to do well for his team-mates". I thought he did very well but I'm sure there was a lot of stuff going on in his head. The club have made a clear statement and we have not sat down with him yet.

"You have to go through pain to get there and so the way we look at it, there are three more games".

"Fair play to the boys, we were disappointed after our game at Twickenham (against Bath last week) which was another game we contributed to the loss".

Saracens issued a statement on Friday saying the club "proudly embraces diversity" and adding that "Billy Vunipola's recent social media posts are inconsistent with this and we take this matter very seriously".

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