Billy Vunipola has admitted that he feels regret for how his controversial comments which he made in April affected his Saracens teammates.
Vunipola was the subject of a warning from the RFU after the England number eight defended Israel Folau’s anti-homosexual views on social media.
Vunipola wrote on Instagram:
“There just comes a point when you insult what I grew up believing in that you just say enough is enough…. He’s [Folau] 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?”
For the remainder of the season, Vunipola was the subject of booing from the stands and he was also confronted by a spectator in the immediate aftermath of Saracens’ victory over Munster in the semi-final of the Heineken Champions Cup.
Vunipola is currently preparing for the 2019 Rugby World Cup with the rest of the England squad and speaking to BBC Sport, the 26-year-old said he feels regret about the impact his comments had on his teammates.
“The regret I would have is bringing my team-mates into disrepute,” Vunipola said.
“That was something I didn’t really think about, which was probably a bit selfish from my point of view.
“That is something I don’t want to happen here [with England]. I don’t want them to be affected by one person’s opinion.”
James Haskell and Joe Marler both criticised Vunipola’s comments and the Saracens number eight revealed that he will have a sit down with Marler at some point.
“Hask came to my wedding. All these things are there to be talked about.
“Marler and I have yet to talk about it but we are going to sit down. We are going to talk and see where it gets us.”