Rugby Australia to speak to Israel Folau over anti-gay post

James Marshall
April 8, 2018

A Former Immigration Minister says Israel Folau should be banned from New Zealand - after the star Aussie Rugby player said gay people would go to hell. Qantas, the Australian airline run by openly gay CEO Alan Joyce and a sponsor of Rugby Australia, released a statement saying "we find the comments very disappointing".

Israel Folau is Australian Rugby's biggest star, a three-time Player of the Year, and is married to netball star Maria Tutaia.

"Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God", Folau wrote.

The post has subsequently been deleted but screen grabs have been shared widely on social media. "We're a super diverse group, everyone has got their own different views and beliefs and Iz is a very Christian man".

And while it would seem unlikely, NZ's former immigration minister Tuariki Delamere - who now works as an immigration lawyer - told stuff.co.nz that Folau should be denied entry.

Pressed on whether he would also speak to Folau about the comment, Hooper replied: "I saw the statement from them [Rugby Australia]".

Folau is likely set to travel to New Zealand this year to take part in the Super Rugby competition and other worldwide rugby games.

However, the former minister acknowledged that refusing Folau entry could be hard, because Australian nationals are considered New Zealand residents from the moment they enter New Zealand. We come from many different lands and we're different individuals but we share the same common goal of wanting to be the best and represent our friends and family and fans as a team, ' he said.

Michael Hooper (right) captains Israel Folau at the Waratahs and Wallabies.

"We're all different people and have different religious beliefs and everyone is entitled to them".

No doubt that will be put to Folau when he meets with his bosses at Australian Rugby soon.

Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle said: "Israel's comment reflects his personal religious beliefs, however it does not represent the view of Rugby Australia or NSW Rugby".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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