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Published: 08:43 | 15/4/19

Folau to have contract terminated


Israel Folau has been served with a sack notice by Rugby Australia for posting anti-gay comments on social media.

Folau, who is a devout Christian, posted an image on his Instagram account on Wednesday, which read: "Warning. Drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolators. Hell awaits you. Repent! Only Jesus saves.".

As well as the post on Instagram, he took to Twitter to condemn Tasmania's decision to make gender optional on birth certificates, writing: “The devil has blinded so many people in this world, REPENT and turn away from your evil ways. Turn to Jesus Christ who will set you free.”

The 30-year-old, who has stood by his comments, has been found to have committed a "high-level breach of the Professional Players' Code of Conduct", which will result in his contract being terminated.

He has 48 hours to accept the sanction or face a Code of Conduct hearing.

"At its core, this is an issue of the responsibilities an employee owes to their employer and the commitments they make to their employer to abide by their employer's policies and procedures and adhere to their employer's values," Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Raelene Castle, commented.

"Following the events of last year, Israel was warned formally and repeatedly about the expectations of him as player for the Wallabies and NSW Waratahs with regards to social media use and he has failed to meet those obligations.

"It was made clear to him that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people because of their sexuality will result in disciplinary action.

"All professional Rugby players in Australia are bound by the Code of Conduct and there is a process in place for any disciplinary matter. We appreciate that this particular matter will attract significant interest, but due process must be followed."

Earlier, Australia head coach Michael Cheika confirmed that he would not select Folau in the wake of his comments.

"We've had the discussion about it after the last time about his right to believe and our support in that. But getting out in that disrespectful manner publicly is not what our team is about," Cheika told reporters.

"We've had the discussion about it and that line has then been crossed. When you play in the gold (Wallabies) jersey, we're representing everyone in Australia.

"I felt that I needed to talk to him (Folau) about why, but I haven't had that chance as yet."

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