It was confirmed earlier this week that Saracens and England forward Billy Vunipola has been warned about his behaviour after comments he made on social media supporting Israel Folau’s homophobic post. With Folau also being sacked by Rugby Australia, we have taken a look back on some of Rugby’s most controversial incidents.
Dylan Hartley has something up a reputation for being a ‘dirty’ player. He has found himself caught up in a number of incidents including eye gouging, biting, punching and even swearing at a referee.
Danny Cipriani certainly enjoyed his younger days as a rugby player, but some nights quickly got out of hand. During his time at Melbourne Rebels, Cipriani was fined by the club for stealing a bottle of vodka from behind a bar and then going against team orders on a night out.
Manu Tuilagi was handed a hefty 10-week ban after landing three heavy punches on Chris Aston back in 2011. He somehow avoided a red card during the game itself, but the decision was reviewed on appeal.
Beale was fined £25,000 for sending offensive text messages to former team business manager, Di Patston. The latter was forced to resign from her position and the incident resulted in a lengthy legal dispute.
Tana Umaga and Kevin Mealamu
Both players came in for huge criticism from the British Lions for the role that they played in a dangerous spear tackle on Brian O’Driscoll back in 2005.
Your Test debut should be a moment to remember for any player, but not Bakkies Botha, who was sin-binned for stamping. He’s also been caught up in eye gouging and biting incidents.
‘Bloodgate’, as it is now known, is widely regarded as one of rugby’s biggest scandals in recent years. Tom Williams faked an injury using blood capsules in a move that allowed Harlequins to make a substitution.
Trevor Brennan, a widely respected player in his prime, had a moment to forget back in 2007. He was coming in for some stick from Ulster fans, but in the heat of the moment, he jumped into the crowd and attacked a supporter.
Lawrence Dallaglio was forced to resign the England captaincy following allegations that he had been taking and dealing hard drugs back in 1999. The RFU dropped the drugs charges against Dallaglio but he was handed a fine of £15,000.
Manu Tuilagi's ferry jump
Manu Tuilagi features once again for his moment of madness back in 2011. He was warned by police and fined £3,000 after jumping off the back of a moving passenger ferry.