Published: Fri, April 12, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Australia's Folau to 'fight for career' after anti-gay row

Australia's Folau to 'fight for career' after anti-gay row

England's star back-rower Billy Vunipola could face sanctions after he appeared to back an Instagram post published by Israel Folau in which the Wallabies full-back made homophobic remarks.

The 30-year-old, one of Australia's few genuinely world-class players, was informed on Thursday he would be sacked if he could offer no good reason for a pair of controversial social media posts.

At the time, it was said that RA had been unable to "contact [Folau] both directly and via his representatives", but Folau finally fronted up at Rugby Australia headquarters on Friday.

After another Instagram post landed Folau in hot water, Rugby Australia decided that was the last straw and have begun to terminate his $4m contract.

Folau, who signed a four-year deal with the Waratahs in March and had a deal with Rugby Australia until 2022, escaped punishment for similar comments last year.

Chief executive Raelene Castle revealed Rugby Australia's position, alongside NSW Rugby Union boss Andrew Hore, via a media release on Thursday night.

But Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter Beattie said he had failed the sport's character test and would not get a contract.

Folau played 91 matches for Melbourne and Brisbane as well as eight State of Origins and eight Tests before switching to the AFL and rugby union.

Israel Folau is fighting to keep his professional career alive after a secret meeting with rugby officials was caught on camera.

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Each device signaled an appetite for more diversity in premium device product line-ups from consumers", the report stated. This is probably seen as a disappointment", Fieldhack added.

It remained online Friday and had attracted more than 27,000 likes.

"I thought they were terribly insensitive comments and obviously that was a matter for the ARU and they've taken that decision", Mr Morrison told ABC News on Friday.

"It is important that people act with love, care and compassion to their fellow citizens and to speak sensitively to their fellow Australians".

Drew Mitchell, a Wallabies team-mate of Folau's at the 2015 World Cup, said he would have been fully aware of the potential fallout after the row over his similar comments past year.

Folau has previously refused to back down from his extreme religious views, and footage of him preaching to fellow churchgoers last month, obtained by the Daily Telegraph, showed how deeply his opinions are held.

"He's saying how we live our lives needs to be closer to how God intended them to be".

"God is clearly saying, "Do not follow the way of the heathen", which is what he's speaking of these people here, the custom".

Folau, who has 73 caps for the Wallabies, was nearly certain to be Michael Cheika's starting full-back at the upcoming World Cup.

Dane Haylett-Petty is shaping as the frontrunner to wear the number 15 jersey, although Kurtley Beale could also comfortably operate at fullback.

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