VUNIPOLA WANTS LESS RUGBY
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.”
| | OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2017