England rugby star Billy Vunipola has been disciplined after coming out in support of Israel Folau following his anti-gay comments on social media.

The Saracens number 8 refused to "unlike" Folau's social media post featuring the words "Warning. Drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolators. Hell awaits you. Repent! Only Jesus saves."

The England international took to social media himself, expressing his support and sympathy for Folau.

Vunipola wrote on social media: "Man was made for woman to procreate - that was the goal, no?".


His club side Saracens have since held lengthy discussions with Vunipola, saying his actions were a "serious error of judgment".

A statement from the Premiership club read: "Senior representatives of the club yesterday held lengthy discussions with Billy Vunipola regarding his recent social media activity.

"At Saracens we are one family, open to all with the firm view that everyone should be treated equally with respect and humility.

"We recognise the complexity of different belief systems and understand Billy's intention was to express the word of God rather than cause offence.

"However, he made a serious error of judgment in publicly sharing his opinion, which is inconsistent with the values of the club and contravenes his contractual obligations.

"The player has been formally warned about his future conduct."

Vunipola has since responded to the club's statement, saying he never intended to cause suffering, but stopped short of an apology.

"I can see that my recent post has hurt people.

"My intention was never to cause suffering. My intention was to express my belief in the word of God.

"These beliefs are a source of great strength, comfort and guidance in my life. This is deeply personal and does not represent the views of my team.

"Anyone who knows me, knows I live with kindness and love towards ALL people.

"I have faith. My Christian faith has sustained me through the ups and many downs of my life.

"God has given - and continues to give - me many reasons in life to be grateful."

The Wallabies superstar may never play for Australia again. Photo / Getty
The Wallabies superstar may never play for Australia again. Photo / Getty

Vunipola explained his decision not to "unlike" Folau's social media post last week, writing on Instagram: "So this morning I got 3 phone calls from people telling me to 'unlike' the @izzyfolau post.

"This is my position on it. I don't HATE anyone neither do I think I'm perfect. There just comes a point when you insult what I grew up believing in that you just say enough is enough, what he's saying isn't that he doesn't like or love those people.

"He's 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?

"I'm not perfect I'm at least everything on that list at least at one point in my life. It hurts to know that. But that's why I believe there's a God. To guide and protect us and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."