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NRL duo discuss potential Israel Folau return

17 April 2019

Australia's full-back Israel Folau scores a try during the global rugby union test match between England and Australia at Twickenham stadium in south-west London on 24 November 2018.

The controversy started April 10 when Folau - who is known for his Christian faith - posted an image on Instagram that referenced Scripture and read, "Warning".

Now a pundit on Fox Sports, Drew Mitchell has all but called his former Australia and NSW Waratahs colleague a hypocrite, posting on Twitter Folau's comments from past year saying he would walk away from the game if Rugby Australia found his position untenable.

Rugby Australia said it will now make all the necessary arrangements with the Rugby Union Players' Association to set up the hearing.

Rugby Australia acted quickly, condemning the post and announcing they would seek to terminate his contract and gave him 48 hours to respond to their Breach Notice.

International Gay Rugby has welcomed the swift action taken by the authorities after last week's homophobic Instagram post by the Australia full-back Israel Folau was liked by the England No 8 Billy Vunipola.

A statement from RA said: "Israel has responded formally today to request a code of conduct hearing which, under the circumstances, was not an unexpected outcome".

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

The issue has seen numerous players, former players, organisations and individuals calling for Folau to be given the boot. The body has to weigh up the fact that it's a World Cup year with the fact Folau was seriously cautioned last year for essentially doing the exact same thing.

Folau - who has played at an elite level in three different football codes - had said in February that playing in the tournament was a key reason why he had re-signed with the Wallabies and Waratahs.

On Sunday Folau, Super Rugby's record try-scorer, told the Sydney Morning Herald he was ready for life without rugby, saying, "I live for God now".

"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". Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter Beattie said last week he had failed the sport's character test and would not get a contract.

He has been stood down by the Waratahs and his rugby union career in Australia appears over, while a return to his roots in league has been ruled out by the Australian Rugby League. 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.

NRL duo discuss potential Israel Folau return