By Radio New Zealand
Wallabies fullback Israel Folau has 48 hours to decide his future after being handed an official code of conduct breach notice by Rugby Australia.
Rugby Australia intends to terminate his contract following his social media post on Twitter and Instagram last week, which proclaimed homosexuals, drunks and atheists, among others, would go to hell unless they repented.
Folau was today served with a breach notice over the posts.
In a statement, Rugby Australia said its integrity unit deemed that Folau had committed a high-level breach of the Professional Players’ Code of Conduct warranting termination of his employment contract.
Folau has 48 hours to accept the sanction or have the matter referred to a code of conduct hearing.
Rugby Australia chief executive, Raelene Castle said Folau had failed to meet his obligations.
“At its core, this is an issue of the responsibilities an employee owes to their employer and the commitments they make to their employer to abide by their employer’s policies and procedures and adhere to their employer’s values.
“Following the events of last year, Israel was warned formally and repeatedly about the expectations of him as player for the Wallabies and NSW Waratahs with regards to social media use and he has failed to meet those obligations,” Castle said.
“It was made clear to him that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people because of their sexuality will result in disciplinary action.”
Castle said all professional rugby players in Australia were bound by the code of conduct and there was a process in place for any disciplinary matter.
“We appreciate that this particular matter will attract significant interest, but due process must be followed.”
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said earlier that Folau’s “disrespectful” comments would currently make it impossible to pick the superstar for Australia at this year’s Rugby World Cup.
“Getting out in that disrespectful manner publicly is not what our team’s about. When you play in the gold jersey, we represent everyone in Australia – everyone. Everyone that’s out there supporting us. We don’t pick and choose,” Cheika said.