Sunday Social: Folau fallout, Bristol brilliance, Fiji flair

Date published: April 14 2019

It is time for Planet Rugby’s Sunday Social, your quirky recap of the serious and not so serious talking points from the week’s action.

We, of course, start with the big story of the last seven days as Israel Folau caused further controversy and consternation over his views on homosexuality, but former England prop Joe Marler had the perfect response to both him…

…and ex-team-mate Billy Vunipola.

More on Vunipola later but first of all check out this video from gay rugby commentator Nick Heath, who eloquently states why those two players are rightly being castigated and, more pertinently, why it is dangerous to be holding such views.

Bristol also did their bit to promote the LGBT community by playing “It’s Raining Men” following their clash with Saracens. Vunipola was on the bench for the defending champions but, after the number eight came on, he was booed throughout his 30 minutes on the pitch.

It completed a miserable week for the England player, who was part of a losing cause on Saturday, but that should not detract from a magnificent Bristol performance.

Meanwhile, Freddie Burns showed off his skills midweek in this video that went viral. He produced an excellent display in the West Country derby, but could not quite prevent Bath from going down to Gloucester.

In Scotland, it was an emotional day for Ross Ford as he played his final home game for Edinburgh. Former team-mate John Barclay paid an excellent tribute to the hooker, who has featured 110 times for his country. Unfortunately, Richard Cockerill’s men were unable to provide the ideal send off, with them going down to Ulster on Friday.

It was a better day for their fellow Scots, however, as Glasgow Warriors beat defending champions Leinster in Dublin. Once again, tackling machine Jonny Gray was at the forefront and his efforts produced a staggering statistic.

Finally, onto the Sevens and, although Fiji were not at their best on day one, they produced some scintillating rugby against New Zealand in the Cup quarter-finals.

The focus isn’t always on the field, though…