"People are Human, People Make Mistakes" - Saracens' Coach Mark McCall On Billy Vunipola's Majorca Police Taser Incident - Ruck

“People are Human, People Make Mistakes” – Saracens’ Coach Mark McCall On Billy Vunipola’s Majorca Police Taser Incident

Saracens Consultant Director of Rugby Mark McCall gave his verdict today, on the recent incident regarding Billy Vunipola in Majorca.

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McCall spoke on a Saracens media event this afternoon, and put a particular emphasise on the need to move past the events on the Balearic Island.

Vunipola was thrown into the spotlight, after video footage emerged on social media of the number eight being tasered by Spanish police.

The event followed a reported drunken night-out, as the Saracens team enjoyed a hard-earned holiday on the Spanish island. The England international then paid a reported 240 euro fine, and was issued with a suspended four-month prison sentence after resisting arrest.

Billy Vunipola of Saracens on the break during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final Match between Leicester Tigers and Saracens at Twickenham Stadium on 18 June 2022. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

Vunipola has since released an official statement regarding the incident, which was shared across Saracens’ social media channels. McCall was immediately issued with questions regarding the England back-row, as he sat down for the Saracens press conference. The Irishman had a clear message regarding his powerhouse ball carrier, about how it was time to leave the incident in the past and move on.

“I don’t have much more to add.” McCall said. “You know as the club said, we have met with him, the case is closed as far as we’re concerned. Now we’re just getting on with the rugby now.”

“The only thing that I would add, or that I would say is when somebody has done wrong, the first way or thought doesn’t always have to be, to punish that person. Sometimes you’ve got to understand the way they are, and why what happened, happened.” “It doesn’t always have to be punishment.”

Mark McCall, Director of Rugby of Saracens during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on 26 April 2024. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

“We absolutely understand that people are human, and people make mistakes. Of course there’s a line, and there are things that you can condemn.”

“If it is appropriate, I want to give people second chances. All of us are to have third chances if it’s clear they’re responsible and that they elect to take ownership of it. I don’t wan’t to talk too much about it, to be honest.”

The Saracens coach then turned his attention to this weekend’s fixture, as the Londoners take on Bristol Bears with plenty on the line. In the penultimate round of the Gallagher Premiership’s regular season, Sarries make the trip to Ashton Gate with plenty to play for, for either side.

Mark McCall, Director of Rugby of Saracens during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on 26 April 2024. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

Second placed Saracens know that two wins from their last two matches could solidify a home semi-final, yet recognise the calibre of opposition that they are set to face. McCall explained how his Saracens men are ‘quietly building momentum’, following a good run of form in the English top flight.

“It’s exciting in lots of ways. Quietly we’ve been building momentum, with the past five Premiership matches we’ve got 20 points, out of the last 25. It’s really encouraging for us, so just quietly building some momentum, and I think in those matches we’ve had a couple of really good performances.

“At the Tottenham Stadium (52-7 win against Harlequins), we showed a different side of ourselves. And the Bath game (15-12 win), it was a really gritty win down there. So, those two are important wins for us.”

Fourth placed Bristol Bears are teetering on the Premiership play-offs, as they currently sit level on points with fifth placed Harlequins. A win for Bristol would help solidify their place in the top four, with Mark McCall recognising the talent of Pat Lam’s men. The Saracen coach expressed how he sees this Bears side as one which is back to it’s entertaining best, and has done the right thing by supporting their New Zealand head coach for the long-term.

Bristol Bears coach Pat Lam carries out post match interviews after the Gallagher Premiership rugby game between Leicester Tigers and Bristol Bears at Welford Road on June 5th – PHOTO: Steve Bond/PPAUK

“He’s (Pat Lam) been successful wherever he’s been. He went to Connacht didn’t he, and he won a trophy there which was amazing. They played this style of rugby well, when he was there. Then they (Bristol Bears) took the Premiership by storm when they first got promoted with the game they play.”

“Maybe they just went away from their DNA (last season – ninth place finish), a little bit. But now they’re back.”

Highest-paid rugby players in the world:

The recent disclosure of the earnings of some of rugby’s most prominent figures illuminates the lucrative landscape at the pinnacle of the sport.

As reported by Wales Online, let’s delve deeper into the earnings of today’s highest-paid rugby players.

Handre Pollard (South Africa) – £610,000

Formerly earning over £1 million at Montpellier, Pollard took a pay cut at Leicester Tigers, now earning £610,000 annually.

Steven Luatua (Samoa) – £620,000

Representing Samoa post-All Black career, Luatua earns £620,000 yearly at Bristol Bears since 2017.

Antoine Dupont (France) – £700,000

Toulouse’s star scrum-half, Dupont, commands a reported £700,000 salary, possibly changing due to Olympic Sevens and potential Japanese stint.

Antoine Dupont, Captain of Italy is interviewed during the 2023 Guinness Six Nations Media Launch at County Hall, Lambeth, London on Monday 23rd January 2023 | Photo: James Fearn/PPAUK.

Dan Biggar (Wales) – £800,000

Biggar’s move to Toulon from Northampton Saints saw a salary boost to £800,000, making him Wales’ highest-paid player.

Siya Kolisi (South Africa) – £800,000

Siya Kolisi, the inspirational Springbok captain, has enjoyed considerable success both on and off the field. His reported salary of £800,000 at Racing 92 reflects his value to the team and his standing as one of the sport’s most influential figures.

Siya Kolisi, Captain of South Africa celebrates after the Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and South Africa at Stade De France, Paris on 29 October 2023 (Photo: Micah Crook/PPAUK)

Maro Itoje (England) – £800,000

Maro Itoje, the towering English lock, has been the subject of considerable speculation regarding his future earnings. While his reported salary of £800,000 with Saracens is impressive, potential hybrid deals with the RFU could see his income increase even further, highlighting his importance to both club and country.

Maro Itoje of England during the Six Nations Match between England and Wales at Twickenham, London on 10 February 2024 (Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)