- Wallabies star facing axe five months out from World Cup
- ‘He does not speak for the game,’ says RA
Israel Folau is to be sacked by Rugby Australia following his latest social media posts, leaving the Wallabies facing the prospect of heading to the World Cup in Japan without one of their best players.
RA released a statement on Thursday night, saying it had failed in its attempts to contact the player over the past 24 hours and its intention was to terminate his contract unless he could prove there were “mitigating factors”.
Folau’s playing career in Australia was placed in jeopardy following an Instagram post on Wednesday in which he proclaimed hell awaits “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters”.
It was the second time the NSW Waratahs player had used social media as a platform to disseminate homophobic sentiments, following a series of posts last year, including one which said “God’s plan for gay people was hell”.
Then, RA issued a warning but no further action was taken after Folau threatened to walk away from the game if he felt his fundamentalist Christian beliefs were being compromised.
RA’s integrity unit called a meeting on Wednesday night to discuss the latest posts but subsequent efforts – both from the national governing body and the state body under which the Waratahs play – to contact Folau failed.