Israel Folau's social media posts 'completely wrong', says Australia scrum-half Will Genia
Genia on Folau: "There's a breach of trust and I guess there's an element of selfishness about it as well"
Last Updated: 18/04/19 9:27am
Israel Folau's anti-LGBT social media posts are "completely wrong", says Australia scrum-half Will Genia.
The 30-year-old Folau, a devout Christian, created controversy for the second time in 12 months when he said on Instagram last week that "hell awaits" for "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolaters".
Rugby Australia's integrity unit ruled Folau had committed a "high-level breach of the Professional Players' Code of Conduct", warranting the termination of his employment contract. He was given 48 hours to accept the breach of contract or refer it to a hearing, which he did on Wednesday.
Genia, who described Folau as "humble" and "very quiet", said his beliefs had never been a problem within the national team environment in the past but could cause issues now.
"He's got to realise that there are other people within that group, both at the Waratahs and Wallabies, that have certain beliefs as well, that very much conflict with what he's come out and said and done," Genia told the Fox Rugby podcast in Australia.
"You can have your beliefs and have faith in what you want to have faith in but you can't go around trying to tell people they should be going to hell because they are a certain way.
"For me that's completely wrong."
Folau had last year assured both Cheika and Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle that he would not make his views public again, which Genia said had now likely led to a total breach of trust.
"If you've gone and said those things to Cheik and Raelene there's a breach of trust and I guess there's an element of selfishness about it as well," Genia added.
"You can have your beliefs but at the end of the day you're also contracted to Rugby Australia and the NSW Waratahs, who as your employers stand for certain things in society, who want to promote the game a certain way.
"Obviously being inclusive of gender, sexual preference, religion, background, whatever it might be. So when you sign up to your contract to do that, you adhere to those rules, you adhere to what's been set out."
Genia's comments come after Wallabies and Waratahs captain Michael Hooper said earlier this week it would be "hard" and "difficult" to play alongside Folau again.
Folau's place in the Waratahs side for Saturday's clash against Melbourne Rebels at the Sydney Cricket Ground, which is live on Sky Sports, has been taken by Wallabies team-mate Kurtley Beale.
The Rebels lead the Australian conference on 23 points, seven ahead of the Waratahs, who have a game in hand.