Israel Folau to challenge Rugby Australia ban

After his NRL career Hopoate turned his hand to boxing. Image AAP

After his NRL career Hopoate turned his hand to boxing. Image AAP

The 30-year-old Christian shared a graphic on Instagram that stated that "hell awaits" homosexuals and those guilty of other "sins".

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.

RA said Folau's request for a code of conduct hearing was "not an unexpected outcome".

The hearing process would involve a panel of three, a representative of RA, a representative of the players' union RUPA and an independent person approved by both organisations, who would be the chair.

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.

"I share it [the social media post] with love".

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.

"They could take action against Rugby Australia as their employer under vicarious liability for the conduct of the employee, or they could take action against the individual Folau".

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It was criticised by politicians, rugby stars and fans across the world.

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

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has already said Folau is unlikely to play for him again, while the Waratahs have stood him down indefinitely.

Folau, who signed a new four-year contract back in February, was given 48 hours to accept the sanction or have the matter referred to to a Code of Conduct hearing, .

Owens said he wouldn't officiate Folau any differently on the field if he does remain in the sport.

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".

"Like I said we're rugby players, I'm not a politician, so as a teammate I've had discussions". "Reading what he said after it, there's no apology, I just can't see a way back for him and I think that's quite sad to be honest with you".

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