Published: Mon, April 22, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Munster Rugby Release Statement Condemning Vunipola Confrontation

Munster Rugby Release Statement Condemning Vunipola Confrontation

The England No 8 was booed throughout the match by Munster fans, who vastly outnumbered Saracens supporters in a crowd of some 16 000 at Coventry's Ricoh Arena on Saturday.

He certainly earned the ire of the Munster crowd but McCall would not be drawn on him or an incident at the end which saw a fan confront the England number eight.

Thomas spoke to Channel 4 Sport after Vunipola's man of the match performance and said the England player's initial apology was "unbelievably unacceptable".

There were scary moments in the United Kingdom this weekend as an irate rugby union fan stormed the pitch to abuse England worldwide Billy Vunipola.

The spectator, who was wearing a Munster jersey, was detained by stadium authorities but released without charge, it is understood.

"I think for him to apologise and the club to make a statement, it's a very easy thing to say sorry, it's very hard to mean it".

Regarding the spectator, a European Professional Club Rugby spokesman said: "EPCR does not condone the entry of a spectator to the field of play". I know that now.

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Mark McCall (Saracens): "Their defence is the area that I see as the thing that they have most improved".

"You can either use it as motivation and as a group you can either grow tighter or split apart".

'The club dealt with it (Vunipola social media posts). The club dealt with the matter decisively, quickly and fairly.

Saracens will line up with a near full-strength side in the Champions Cup semi, with Owen Farrell returning to European action after he missed the quarter-final against Glasgow Warriors for the birth of his son. "So whether the shocking abuse of a great player was just a reaction to Vunipola being way too good for them, or whether it was a stand by Munster people against homophobia - something of which Vunipola has never been guilty - then it was distasteful". I'll probably not be as honest as I have been about things that probably hurt a lot of people. "We got what we deserved".

'I was just really pleased with our intensity, which was relentless the whole game, and the control we had emotionally as well'.

Van Graan added: 'We came here to win, but we were beaten by a better side on the day.

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