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Vunipola admits to drink problem after Mallorca arrest

NEWS: England rugby international Billy Vunipola accepted he had a problem “knowing when to stop” as he explained the circumstances behind his alcohol-fuelled arrest in Mallorca.

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Vunipola, 31, appeared in court on Sunday following the early hours’ episode at a bar in the island’s capital Palma in which police tasered him.

The Saracens and England No. 8 issued a public apology after being fined 240 euros (£205) for resisting the law.

Vunipola revealed he was drinking for the first time since August 2022 in anticipation that it would be his final team-bonding trip with Saracens given he is set to leave the London club at the end of the season.

“My issue is just not knowing when to stop and that’s probably why I stopped drinking for so long,” Vunipola told Britain’s Daily Mail in an interview published Friday.

“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.”

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He added: “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.”

Vunipola insisted he did not remember being asked to leave the ‘Epic’ bar by security after removing his top, which led to the police being called, and denied any threatening behaviour to other customers.

The powerful forward said a minor injury suffered by one of the police officers happened accidentally as he struggled while a zip tie was being placed around his hands.

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Video footage showed Vunipola still standing after the first taser shot before succumbing to a second.

“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!” he said.

“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.”

Vunipola is expected to leave Saracens at the end of this season and has been linked with a move to French club Montpellier.

He has won 75 England caps, making his Test debut against Argentina in 2013. He is not currently a member of the England squad.

Vunipola made an appearance as a second-half substitute for Saracens in their 15-12 victory over Bath last Friday. The club is not scheduled to play again until May 11.

Saracens are second in the English Premiership and are chasing a sixth league title in the last 10 seasons with two rounds of regular season games left before the play-offs.

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