England rugby star Billy Vunipola has doubled down on his support for Israel Folau’s controversial Instagram post.
The number eight was summoned to talks by the RFU last year after he liked a social media post by the Australia full-back and fellow devout Christian Folau, who stated that “hell awaits” for “homosexuals”.
“I could easily have been: ‘I’m not going to support this.’ I didn’t sleep for two or three days after I saw [Folau’s] post because something inside me was saying: ‘Do you actually believe in Jesus Christ or do you not?’” said Vunipola, reflecting on the incident on The Good, The Bad & The Rugby podcast.
“I didn’t enjoy being ridiculed but at the same time what I did find comforting is that I stood up for my faith and I didn’t just fall by the wayside.
“[Now] I wouldn’t go about it the same way. I’d talk to whoever had any questions.
“If it happened again now and I was asked: ‘Billy, do you stand in support of it?’ I would have to say yes because I’ve made my position clear.”
British & Irish Lions predicted 2021 starting XV, according to the bookies
Fullback: LIAM WILLIAMS (Wales 4/7)
Other contenders: Stuart Hogg (Scotland 4/6), Jordan Larmour (Ireland EVS), Leigh Halfpenny (Wales 5/1), George Furbank (England 7/2)
Left wing: JONNY MAY (England 1/25)
Other contenders: Jacob Stockdale (Ireland 1/3), Adam Radwan (England 40/1), Jack Nowell (England 11/4), Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales 13/8)
Outside-centre: JONATHAN DAVIES (Wales 1/3)
Other contenders: Henry Slade (England 5/6), Garry Ringshow (Ireland 4/6), Jonathan Joseph (England 13/8), Chris Harris (Scotland 20/1), Huw Jones (Scotland 6/1)
Inside-centre: MANU TUILAGI (England 1/3)
Other contenders: Robbie Henshaw (Ireland 5/6), Hadleigh Parkes (Wales 5/4), Sam Johnson (Scotland 9/2)
Right wing: JOSH ADAMS (Wales 1/18)
Other contenders: Anthony Watson (England 4/6), George North (Wales 2/1), Elliot Daly (England 10/11), Joe Cokanasiga (England 3/1), Keith Earls (Ireland 9/2)