Israel Folau’s anti-gay comments look to have ruled him out of selection ahead of the Rugby World Cup according to Wallabies head coach, Michael Cheika.
Last week, Folau posted a message to Instagram stating that “Hell awaits” drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators.
As Folau’s future with Australia hangs in the balance, Cheika criticised the 30-year-old following his “disrespectful” comments.
“We had a discussion after the last time and made it pretty clear about his right to believe and our support in that, if that’s what he wants, to be part of the team,” Cheika told reporters.
“But getting it out in that disrespectful manner publicly is not what our team is about.
“When you play in the gold jersey we represent everyone in Australia, everyone. Everyone that is out there supporting us, we don’t pick and choose.”
When asked whether or not he would select Folau again, Cheika admitted it would be highly unlikely as things stand.
“I think as it stands right now… you wouldn’t be able.”
Australian captain, Michael Hooper admitted to exchanging a brief text message with Folau, who he plays alongside with for both Waratah and the Wallabies. When asked whether he would still be comfortable playing alongside the much-maligned full-back, Hooper claimed it would be “difficult”.
“Like was said before, in this current state and being here and talking about this as a rugby player, it makes it hard, it makes it difficult.”
Just yesterday, Folau doubled-down on his comments, telling the Sydney Morning Herald that he was ready to choose religion over rugby.
“I live for God now”.
“Whatever His will is, whether that’s to continue playing or not, I’m more than happy to do what He wants me to do.”
Rugby Australia chief, Raelene Castle stated on Monday that Folau had repeatedly been warned over his social media use and refused to apologise for his comments at a meeting on Friday, leaving the association with no choice but to issue him with a “high-level” breach notice which warrants a contract termination.
Folau has 48 hours to either accept the breach notice or have the matter referred to a hearing. It is believed that Folau intends to fight the breach.