Israel Folau sacked over homophobic social media post

Saracens' Billy Vunipola supported Israel Folau this week

Israel Folau has officially been issued a breach notice over his inflammatory social media posts last week.

RA CEO Raelene Castle said the RA integrity unit had deemed Folau had committed a "high level" breach of the players' code of conduct warranting termination of his contract.

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.

Saracens have warned Billy Vunipola about his behaviour and said he made a "serious error of judgment" defending Israel Folau's social media post claiming "hell awaits" gay people. When you play in the gold jersey, we represent everyone in Australia - everyone.

Hooper said he had talked to Folau about his beliefs in an effort to understand him better and was surprised when the decorated dual worldwide went again on social media last Wednesday. There comes a point when you insult what I grew up believing in that you just say enough is enough.

If Folau opts for a code of conduct hearing, an independent three-person tribunal would hear the case and determine whether he has made a breach and, if so, what punishment is appropriate.

Earlier on Monday, Cheika told reporters Folau's "disrespectful" comments would now make it impossible to pick the superstar for this year's Rugby World Cup.

He has scored 32 tries in 62 matches for Australia and his sacking would be a massive blow to coach Michael Cheika at this year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.

'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 added.

"First and foremost, I live for God now", he said in his first interview since the controversy over his recent comments began.

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Cheika said he was surprised Folau had made the comments after the tumult of past year.

When asked if he regretted the post, Folau maintained his stance, although he insisted that he shared the message "with love".

The Waratahs and Wallabies have lost patience with Israel Folau, with captain Michael Hooper admitting it would be "difficult" to take the field alongside him and coach Michael Cheika saying he would not pick him again in the wake of the fullback's second controversial outing on social media.

"Obviously I love playing footy", he assured, "and if it goes down that path I'll definitely miss it".

"Getting out in that disrespectful manner publicly is not what this team is about", Cheika said.

"I felt that I needed to talk to him about why, and I haven't had that chance as yet".

"He's got the right to have an opinion, but I think he's probably let himself down in the way he's gone about that".

"His plans for me are better than whatever I can think. If that's not to continue on playing, so be it", he said.

"I have faith. My Christian faith has sustained me through the ups and many downs of my life".

"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", he told the Herald.

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