NZ Rugby World - - The Breakdown -

ENG­LAND NO 8 BILLY VU­NIPOLA, who missed the British & Ir­ish Lions tour to New Zealand this year, says he would be will­ing to take a pay cut to re­duce the risk of be­ing in­jured. Vu­nipola dam­aged his shoul­der in May this year and was be­ing urged to play through the pain and de­lay surgery un­til he re­turned from New Zealand. But he pushed away those re­quests, say­ing he felt that would be the wrong move for his longer term well­be­ing.

He has been ruled out of ac­tion again after dam­ag­ing his knee play­ing for Sara­cens, prompt­ing him to re­veal his true feel­ings about the vol­ume of rugby he was be­ing asked to play.

“Some­thing has to change,” he said. “I didn’t en­joy be­ing on the surgery ta­ble twice in one year and that’s sup­posed to be deemed as nor­mal,” he told BBC Ra­dio 5 live’s Rugby Union Weekly pod­cast.

“Kids want to play rugby be­cause it’s fun, but they also need to know that it’s tough, and it’s nor­mal to have surgery at 25 be­cause you’re so worn down.

“I’m not com­plain­ing, I just want peo­ple to un­der­stand that hav­ing surgery is not fun, and it’s not fun be­ing in­jured.”


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