Billy Vunipola reveals why he refused to take the knee against Georgia

Billy Vunipola, Ben Earl and Henry Slade all stood before the 40-0 win against Georgia in the Autumn Nations Cup on Saturday.

“A similar situation happened with the Black Lives Matter movement last week when we were asked if we want to take a knee or not,” Vunipola told The Good, The Bad & The Rugby podcast.

“What I saw in terms of that movement was not aligned with what I believe in. They were burning churches and Bibles. I can’t support that.

“Even though I am a person of colour, I’m still more a person of, I guess, Jesus.”

And the RFU has backed the players who made the choice not to take the knee.

A spokeswoman said: ‘During the Autumn Nations Cup, Twickenham Stadium is featuring messages of support for Rugby Against Racism, Black Lives Matter and the NHS.

‘England’s men’s and women’s players and match officials are given the choice on how and if they wish to make gestures to help raise awareness for diversity and inclusion before the start of each game. 

‘The RFU supports any players’ decision and equally believes the plans off the England stage are as important in driving necessary improvement and change across all areas of our game.’


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Foreign-Born Players at 2020 Autumn Nations Cup: Home Nations

SCOTLAND – 19/36

  1. Duhan van der Merwe (South Africa)
  2. Sean Maitland (New Zealand)
  3. James Lang (England)
  4. Sam Johnson (Australia)
  5. Chris Harris (England)
  6. Nick Grigg (New Zealand)
  7. Ali Price (England)
  8. Hamish Watson (England)
  9. Blade Thomson (New Zealand)
  10. Rob Harley (England)
  11. Nick Haining (Australia)
  12. Blair Cowan (New Zealand)
  13. Cornell du Preez (South Africa)
  14. Ben Toolis (Australia)
  15. Sam Skinner (England)
  16. WP Nel (South Africa)
  17. Oli Kebble (South Africa)
  18. Simon Berghan (New Zealand)
  19. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Spain)

CONTINUES ON PAGE 2


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