Vunipola warns of strike action

Date published: September 15 2017

Saracens and England number eight Billy Vunipola has warned players may go on strike over the number of games they are expected to play in.

The 24-year-old, who missed the recent British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand because of injury, says he “couldn’t handle” the demands of him.

And with no reduction of matches forthcoming, the tough back-row has issued a warning shot to the decision makers that players aren’t happy.

“Everyone complains that they keep pushing the salary cap up but we need more players. It’s not about money, it’s about the toil we’re put through,” Vunipola told The Times in an interview.

“Something is going to give. Something might happen where we follow the NFL or NBA, where they had a lock-out.

“I’m not saying I’m going to start it, but I feel like something needs to happen for the suits to realise these guys are serious.”

“It comes down to how much we play,” he added. “My body could not handle it. I might think I’m strong and tough but I’m not. I just got worn down.

“The suits are always talking about it but they have never played nine months in today’s rugby. It’s something I would love to change – play less.”