Wallabies threaten boycott over Folau: report

Israel Folau in action for the Wallabies. Photo: AP
Israel Folau in action for the Wallabies. Photo: AP
A number of Wallabies players are reportedly considering a boycott if Israel Folau wins his case to play again.

Folau will face a Rugby Australia Code of Conduct hearing this weekend after challenging the governing body's termination breach notice for his homophobic posts on social media on April 10.

But even if the star fullback comes out of the hearing with his contract intact, his presence could cause a number of his teammates to make themselves unavailable for selection, reports The Australian's Wayne Smith.

Smith writes that an unknown number of players felt Folau broke a "prime directive" and had "placed himself before the team".

Several high-profile Wallabies have spoken out against Folau's comments, including Will Genia, Michael Hooper and Bernard Foley, while Wallabies coach Michael Chieka and Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson also expressed their disapproval.

"There are blokes at the Wallabies and the Waratahs that have certain beliefs that very much conflict with what he has said and done," Genia recently told Fox Sports Australia.

"I certainly think it makes it a bit uncomfortable for people within those team environments to relate to him and, moving forward, even to play with him."

Cheika said he would not be able to select Folau for the Wallabies after his "disrespectful" social media posts, adding that a "line had been crossed".

"As it stands right now, considering what I just said, you wouldn't be able to [select him]," Cheika said.

The Folau furore has also created a sensitive and politically charged environment for both fans and his teammates, to the point where Reds captain Samu Kerevi felt obliged to apologise for sharing a peaceful religious message on Easter that had nothing to do with Folau's anti-gay comments.

The fact that Kerevi felt the need to apologise angered Reds prop Taniela Tupou who supported his teammate's right to express his religious views in a Facebook post: "Seriously? Might as well sack me and all the other Pacific Islands rugby players around the world because we have the same Christian beliefs.

"I will never apologise for my faith and what I believe in, religion had nothing to do with rugby anyways."

Folau will learn his fate on Saturday, and has been suspended from all activities until further notice.

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