Billy Vunipola’s failure to express his regret for his comments supporting Israel Folau has been met with disillusionment from Lawrence Dallaglio.
Vunipola was awarded man of the match for his display in Saracens 32-16 victory over Munster, which sent them through to a third Champions Cup final in four years.
And, as is customary, Vunipola spoke in front of the cameras for the first time since he stirred controversy with comments which echoed Folau’s anti-gay sentiment.
Vunipola said on an Instagram post having been asked to ‘unlike’ Folau’s post: “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 procreate, that was the goal no?”
But Vunipola in his interview with BT Sport’s Sarra Elgan didn’t back down, saying ‘I believe in what I believe in’.
Further fuelling the controversy, Dallaglio slammed Vunipola for refusing to apologise and defuse a situation which has seen him warned by the RFU.
“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 – 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.”
The England vice-captain was roundly booed by Munster fans during the semi-final clash at the Ricoh Arena.
Working on the weekend’s other Champions Cup semi-final between Leinster and Toulouse, openly gay Wales legend Gareth Thomas said Vunipola and Folau’s comments would be hurtful to young people struggling with their sexuality.
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