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Friday May 3, 2024

Billy Vunipola speaks openly about 'taser' incident

It has been a rollercoaster of a week for Saracens number 8 Billy Vulipola after it was revealed on Monday that the 31-year-old had been involved in an early morning incident with police whilst on a club trip to Palma.

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It was reported that the giant forward was tasered twice during an arrest at Epic nightclub whilst heavily intoxicated, leading to his arrest and a 240 euro fine. Wishing to put his troubles behind him, whilst being completely transparent about the situation, Vunipola has sat down with the Daily Mail for an exclusive interview about the event.

BARNET, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 23: Billy Vunipola of Saracens looks on during the Saracens v Leinster Rugby Club Friendly match at StoneX Stadium on February 23, 2024 in Barnet, England. (Photo by Patrick Khachfe/Getty Images)

Detailing the reason for his levels of intoxication, the Saracens man told the publication: “My issue is just not knowing when to stop and that’s probably why I stopped drinking for so long. I’ve never really been a casual drinker. If I drink, I get to a place where I probably forget what I did. That’s the reason why I had stopped and the reason why I had a drink last weekend was because it was my last ever trip with the boys and I wanted to really enjoy it. But obviously, I went too far.”

Fortunately for the big man, the club he has been a member of for the majority of his professional career, has supported him through his time.

“I’ve been at the club for 11 years and I do silly things all the time, but they always seem to forgive me and accept me for who I am. I think that’s because they know that these things are in my personality, to kick out and rebel.”

Joking about his ability to take tasers to the body, Vunipola talked through his takedown, saying: “I’ve got two marks on me. Someone told me those with more muscle get more affected by taser than those with a little bit more bedding! I guess I was lucky I had a bit more belly because I didn’t feel it as much. Even when I was on the ground, they were shocked that I still had the energy to fight them – well, not fight them, resist them, which is what I got done for.”

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Sadly during events like this, it’s not just those directly involved that are affected, friends and family often have take collateral emotional damage at the same time. Speaking about a phone call to his wife at the time, Vunipola added: “I called my wife and had to explain to her what had happened. I remember saying, ‘I’m so sorry’ and I started crying. I said, ‘This is the last thing you want to hear but I’m OK and they’re going to hold me until four (o’clock) when I will try to clear myself’.

“They told me I’d be out at four, but I wasn’t out until nine (pm). As soon as I came out, I went straight to the hotel to sleep. I was just gutted and embarrassed. I was disappointed that I didn’t just get to enjoy the time. I ruined it for myself and for everyone else.”

Clearly apologetic about his actions, Billy added: “I caused a huge amount of embarrassment and put a spotlight on the club when they were trying to do something nice for us. It’s disappointing that I let what happened happen, by drinking too much. I am very sorry.”

Read the full interview here.

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