Saracens have warned Billy Vunipola about his behaviour and said he made a “serious error of judgment” defending Israel Folau’s social media post claiming “hell awaits” gay people.
England forward Vunipola liked the post by Folau and called for people to “live their lives how God intended”.
He has issued a statement saying he had not intended to “cause suffering”.
“The player has been formally warned about his future conduct,” said Saracens in a statement.
“At Saracens, we are one family, open to all, with the firm view that everyone should be treated equally with respect and humility.
“We recognise the complexity of different belief systems and understand Billy’s intention was to express the word of God rather than cause offence.
“However, he made a serious error of judgement in publicly sharing his opinion, which is inconsistent with the values of the club and contravenes his contractual obligations.”
Vunipola’s statement, released at the same time, said: “I can see that my recent post has hurt people. My intention was never to cause suffering.
“My intention was to express my belief in the word of God. These beliefs are a source of great strength, comfort and guidance in my life.
“Anyone who knows me, knows I live with kindness and love towards ALL people.”
Folau’s contract was terminated by Rugby Australia on Monday due to a ‘high-level breach’ of his code of conduct.
He had posted a photo on Instagram earlier, with the message: “Warning. Drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolators. Hell awaits you. Repent! Only Jesus saves.”
Vunipola – who was booed during Saturday’s Premiership defeat by Bristol – was criticised for liking Folau’s post and the Rugby Football Union has said it intends to hold a meeting with the player this week.