Billy Vunipola: Fan confrontation 'scary', says Saracens forward

Billy Vunipola
Billy Vunipola scored the second of Saracens' two tries

Billy Vunipola says being confronted by a Munster fan after Saracens' Champions Cup semi-final win was "quite scary".

The Sarries and England forward, 26, was booed throughout, scored a late try and was named man of the match in the 32-16 win at Coventry's Ricoh Arena.

He was warned by his club and the Rugby Football Union this week for defending Israel Folau's social media post in which he said "hell awaits" gay people.

"People say I put my foot in it so I have to deal with it," Vunipola said.

The number eight told BBC Radio 5 Live: "It's not something I'm afraid of. I probably have to expect that it's going to keep happening.

"It was quite a motivating factor that people were booing me. I wanted to back up my words and show my team-mates that I did not mean to distract them."

The fan who confronted Vunipola was quickly led away by stewards.

European Professional Club Rugby, the tournament organisers, said: "Following the regrettable incident at the Ricoh Arena, the spectator in question is currently being detained by the stadium authorities."

Last week Vunipola was criticised for 'liking' an Instagram post from Australia winger Folau which warned gay people that hell awaited them unless they repented.

Folau later had his contract cancelled by Rugby Australia.

Vunipola defended his views, writing on Instagram:external-link "There just comes a point when you insult what I grew up believing in that you just say enough is enough. Man was made for woman to procreate, that was the goal no?"

Vunipola said after the game on Saturday: "It was probably insensitive, but also something I strongly believe in.

"I'll probably not be as honest as I have been about things that probably hurt a lot of people. I know that now.

"I'm not going to change the happy-go-lucky person I am. My faith is what got me to this position. It's something I'll stick by.

"It's been awesome having friends supporting me, whether they agree with me or not."

Danny Care says personal beliefs won't get in the way of wanting to win rugby matches.

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