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Rugby Australia cast Israel Folau’s future in doubt after full-back ducks calls

Israel Folau

Rugby Australia have said they intend to terminate the contract of star full-back Israel Folau after posting an anti-gay message to social media.

As well as homosexuals, Folau also condemned atheists, drunks and fornicators in an Instagram post, saying ‘those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent’.

It is the second time the Waratahs full-back has sparked controversy with his religious beliefs, with a previous post last year also condemning homosexuality.

Folau was warned by Rugby Australia for his conduct and, though the process was drawn out, the 29-year-old signed a four-year multi-million dollar contract to stay in Australia in February.

The governing body now say, however, that they intend to rip up Folau’s contract and have tried multiple times to contact him, but without success.

In a statement, Rugby Australia said: “Rugby Australia and the New South Wales Rugby Union have made repeated attempts to contact Israel both directly and via his representatives since 6.30pm on Wednesday, and at this point he has failed to communicate directly with either organisation.

“Whilst Israel is entitled to his religious beliefs, the way in which he has expressed these beliefs is inconsistent with the values of the sport. We want to make it clear that he does not speak for the game with his recent social media posts.

“Israel has failed to understand that the expectation of him as a Rugby Australia and NSW Waratahs employee is that he cannot share material on social media that condemns, vilifies or discriminates against people on the basis of their sexuality.

“Rugby is a sport that continuously works to unite people. We want everyone to feel safe and welcome in our game and no vilification based on race, gender, religion or sexuality is acceptable and no language that isolates, divides or insults people based on any of those factors can be tolerated.”

“In the absence of compelling mitigating factors, it is our intention to terminate his contract.”

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