Rugby-RFU give Vunipola a formal warning after Majorca incident

  • Rugby
  • Friday, 10 May 2024

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2023 - Pool D - England v Chile - Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille, France - September 23, 2023 England's Billy Vunipola in action REUTERS/Stephanie Lecocq

LONDON (Reuters) - England international Billy Vunipola was handed a formal warning by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) on Thursday but escaped a ban after being arrested in Majorca last month following a pub incident.

The Saracens number eight was handed a suspended four-month sentence and fined 240 euros ($258.60) for assault and battery in an express trial on the Spanish island.

Saracens have already given the 31-year-old a formal warning and the RFU response leaves him free to play in the Premiership for the remainder of the season.

The RFU said it reviewed information provided by the club and had considered the player's apologies and clear contrition, concluding a formal warning to be the most appropriate course of action.

"This warning will sit on his record for five years and may be relied upon in future disciplinary proceedings," it added.

"It has been made clear to Billy that as a senior and respected player such actions risk bringing the game as a whole into disrepute. In particular, such actions clearly go against the core values of rugby which collectively the sport works hard to promote."

Vunipola has made 75 appearances for England but was not selected for this year's Six Nations and is expected to move to France at the end of the season.

($1 = 0.9281 euros)

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris)

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