Billy Vunipola: Saracens warn England forward about future conduct

Billy Vunipola: Saracens warn England forward about future conduct

Israel Folau has refused to back down from his homophobic comments after his contract was terminated by Rugby Australia.

The Australian rugby union authorities have made a decision to end their contract with star center Israel Folau after he posted a message on Instagram urging sinners to "repent".

The number 8 has come under intense criticism in recent days after coming out on social media in defence of Israel Folau, the Australian full-back who said "hell awaits" for "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolators".

Folau's place at the World Cup is at risk after last week's controversial social media posts.

While Rugby Australia will sack Folau, 30, for his second anti-gay outburst in a year, and said on Monday he had 48 hours to accept that verdict or face a code-of-conduct hearing, Vunipola has now explained his own views but stopped short of apologising to the LGBT community.

"At its core, this is an issue of the responsibilities an employee owes to their employer and the commitments they make to their employer to abide by their employer's policies and procedures and adhere to their employer's values".

Folau was warned over his conduct past year after posting homophobic comments.

Coach Michael Cheika said on Monday he would not have been able to select fullback Israel Folau for the Wallabies after his latest "disrespectful" social media posts attacking gay people. "We appreciate that this particular matter will attract significant interest, but due process must be followed".

Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika has ended Folau's global career by revealing his comments on social media - his second such infringement - mean he can not be selected.

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"We've had the discussion about it after the last time about his right to believe and our support in that. but getting out in that disrespectful manner publicly, is not what our team's about", Cheika said. "When you play in the gold jersey, you represent everyone in Australia. We don't pick and choose", Cheika said. "If that's not to continue on playing, so be it", he said.

"Obviously I love playing footy", he assured, "and if it goes down that path I'll definitely miss it. Turn to Jesus Christ who will set you free".

'Absolutely not. I'll stand on what the Bible says.

"When they behave like this or create negative comments that does make it very very hard for everyone in the rugby community". "He's got the right to have an opinion but I think he's probably let himself down with how he's gone about that".

"First and foremost, I live for God now", he said.

Folau said his beliefs hadn't been swayed by the waves of criticism directed at him.

In his first interview since Rugby Australia announced its intention to terminate his Wallabies and Super Rugby contracts, Folau told the Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday he will walk away from rugby and his multi-million dollar income if God wills it.

Cheika fronted the media alongside Wallabies and NSW Waratahs captain Michael Hooper and Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson.

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