Billy Vunipola's defiant message shared online during hearing
By Rugby Onslaught

Billy Vunipola’s defiant message shared online during hearing

England No8 Billy Vunipola sent a message to all his critics over night as he awaited the verdict of his hearing after receiving a red card against Ireland on Saturday.

The 30-year-old was banned for three games on Wednesday, although that can be reduced to two if he attends tackle school, which means he will miss England’s opening match of the World Cup against Argentina.

After the hearing took place on Tuesday, Vunipola shared a video on his Instagram story as he awaited the verdict on Wednesday morning. The video is of a recent speech from former Super Bowl winner and Major League Baseball player turned College Football coach Deion Sanders, and it is pertinent to Vunipola’s and his England and Saracens teammate Owen Farrell’s situation at the moment.

“Look at me,” Sanders said in the video. “What about me would make you think that I care about your opinion of me? Your opinion of me is not the opinion that I have of myself. You ain’t make me, so you can’t break me. You didn’t build me, so you can’t kill me.

“You know what, God established me, so there’s nothing you can do to me. I’ve been him! I’ve been a difference maker, a game changer. I’ve been that guy. So what would change? Not a darn thing! I’m not even playing the game and you’ve got an opinion of me. I love it, but I don’t care! And I wished the world thought like that.”

“Youngsters, if you’re out there right now, do not give a darn what opinion people have of you. As long as that opinion isn’t consistent with that of yourself, you be you. I’m not playing to make you feel good about me. I already feel good about me. I’m good. Message for the youngsters out there and the old school, not the old fools.”

Farrell has been subject to a substantial amount of criticism over the past couple of weeks following his red card against Wales, which has in turn been highlighted and rebuked by other figures in the game. Vunipola has not received the same level of disapproval as he has a record to show that he is not a dirty player in any way. Then again, he would still have been subjected to a fair amount of abuse this week given England’s poor disciplinary record recently, and this is a response to such abuse.

Take a look at the full video:


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