Billy Vunipola has opened up about his decision to withdraw from the summer’s British & Irish Lions squad due to a shoulder injury, saying that “otherwise I’d be letting people down”.
“My conscience told me that I shouldn’t go on the tour because otherwise I’d be letting people down,” Vunipola writes in the book, Wrecking Ball.
“I’m not saying that from a selfish point of view, as if I wanted to go to New Zealand and be the star. But I didn’t think I’d be able to help the team in a positive way on the pitch. What was the point in touring if I was going to be a hindrance?
“Having learned from so many experiences, I’m now at a stage where I’m confident in what I stand for and what I believe in, so I have no doubts that I made the right decision.
“And it was my decision. It was important for me to show that I was mature enough to make the call myself and not wait for somebody else to do it for me.
“Sometimes my body just can’t keep up with all the demands I place on it, and that’s just the nature of the beast.
“The injury was something that happened a long time before the tour. I tried to tough it out but the timing wasn’t right for me on that occasion.”