Thursday, 25 April, 2019

Nigel Owens Has Say On Folau And Vunipola Homophobic Comments

Israel Folau in action for the Wallabies Folau has played professional rugby union rugby league and Australian rules football
Cassandra Castillo | 17 April, 2019, 16:06

Embattled winger Israel Folau has opted to contest his breach notice from Rugby Australia.

Leading Test rugby referee Nigel Owens has described Israel Folau's religious views as narrow minded and potentially "very, very hurtful" to a lot of people.

The religiously-motivated Folau attracted a fresh storm of controversy when he posted on Instagram: "Warning".

"Rugby Australia will now make arrangements with the Rugby Union Players' Association (RUPA) to bring together the Code of Conduct hearing", the statement read.

The Wallabies Folau has until Wednesday afternoon to respond to Rugby Australia's breach notice or his contract will be terminated.

'Israel has responded formally today to request a code of conduct hearing which, under the circumstances, was not an unexpected outcome, ' Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle said. The report says the lack of social media clauses are central to his defence.

Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle, who on Wednesday acknowledged Folau's hearing request was "not an unexpected outcome", had past year come under fire for allowing the player to escape sanctions for earlier anti-gay posts.

Folau may have grounds to fight the ruling, with RA's failure to include a social media clause in his new contract set to be a key element in his hearing.

More news: Sony Reveals The Existence Of Their Own Content Guidelines For PS4

A former club and country team-mate of Israel Folau has issued a stinging put-down following the full-back's decision to challenge his attempted sacking by Rugby Australia.

'All professional rugby players in Australia are bound by the Code of Conduct and there is a process in place for any disciplinary matter.

That would force Rugby Australia to decide whether to tear up his lucrative contract, just five months out from the World Cup.

Hopoate wrote on Facebook in a since deleted post that he does not know why everyone is "so anxious about what Israel Folau said".

Following a service at the Truth Of Jesus Christ Church, he told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper: "I share it with love".

"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", Folau said.

National Rugby League stars Benji Marshall and James Graham echoed similar views, telling Fox Sports they could not see a way for the controversial player to return to their sport. But I'd also like him to understand and respect that this is who I am, and I'm glad rugby has allowed me to be who I am.

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