Rugby Australia's position 'unchanged' after Israel Folau meeting


"NSW Rugby Union has stood down Israel Folau from all player duties with the NSW Waratahs until further notice".

"In this case, it is incredibly important for a brand to take a strong position against the individual, especially when the comments from Israel Folau are so harmful and disrespectful".

Earlier, Folau and his New Zealand netball wife Maria, were seen with the chief executive of Rugby Union Players' Association (RUPA) Prataal Raj at a cafe.

Influential Australian broadcaster Alan Jones, a former coach of the Australian global rugby union team, said if Folau's contract was terminated it would be a "slippery slope" for free speech.

TWO contract technicalities reportedly leave Rugby Australia exposed to an Israel Folau legal threat. "The views expressed by Israel are his alone and are not endorsed by RUPA". But it seems that Australian rugby bosses have had enough and are expected to rip up his contract.

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Rugby Australia has not made public their specific grounds for termination and it is unclear how long the process would take regardless of the grounds.

But former Wallabies coach Alan Jones slammed RA's threat to sack Folau, saying the decision had "completely corrupted" free speech in Australia.

The RFU distanced themselves from those views and said that they would be meeting with the player.

The multi-million dollar contract Folau signed in February looks certain to be torn up unless he can convince his employers that there are "compelling mitigating factors" for sharing the post.

There are as many as five genuine candidates who could fill the No. 15 jersey, giving the Wallabies selection panel plenty of options depending on how exactly they want to play the game.

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"He's put himself before the game, he's put himself before his team-mates and I think he's isolated himself to the point where there's only one decision for Rugby Australia, where he has to go", Mitchell told Fox Sports.

"We will be meeting with Billy to discuss his social media posts".

Folau escaped sanction when he posted similar comments a year ago but RA took a much harder line when, having repeatedly warned him against it, the player repeated the offence.

It comes after Hillsong pastor Brian Houston deleted a Twitter statement in which he spoke out against Israel Folau in the wake of his latest social media controversy. "This is my position on it", he said on his Instagram page.

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"We're on a slippery slope's got nothing to do with Israel, or rugby, or religion, or homosexuals, or whatever".