Sport Comment: Warning to Rugby Australia: The Waratahs and Wallabies will be mediocre without Israel Folau

02:32  08 may  2018
02:32  08 may  2018 Source:   theroar.com.au

Israel Folau to make Super Rugby comeback at fullback against Blues

  Israel Folau to make Super Rugby comeback at fullback against Blues After playing four minutes of the Waratahs' last four matches, Israel Folau will return in his favoured position of fullback against the Blues.Five changes have been made to the Waratahs’ starting XV from the side that was thumped by the Lions 29-0 a fortnight ago; a result Gibson said the group was still “seething” over.

The 29-year-old fullback, who plays for the Australian Wallabies and the New South Wales Waratahs , is a devout Christian and posted a cartoon depicting “God’s plan” on The chief executives of Rugby NSW and Rugby Australia said on Thursday they would meet with Folau to discuss his comments .

Image caption Israel Folau is a high-profile rugby union player for Australia . Rugby Australia says it does not support the views of star player Israel Folau after he suggested that gay people would end up in hell. The Wallabies player was widely criticised for the comment

  Comment: Warning to Rugby Australia: The Waratahs and Wallabies will be mediocre without Israel Folau © AP Photo/Rick Rycroft

Case 1: A star rugby player expresses the traditional Christian view on hell and gay people, admittedly in a blunt and uncompromising manner.

His tweet provokes, in the words of the Sydney Morning Herald’s respected sports writer Malcolm Knox, “a complex community debate about free speech, tolerance, evangelism and the responsibilities of role models.”

Officials at Rugby Australia and the NSW Waratahs, along with a couple of influential sponsors, claim that the player is guilty of disrespecting diversity. There are suggestions of contract retaliation if he repeats his views.

Folau has no regrets but says he won't hold grudges against anyone

  Folau has no regrets but says he won't hold grudges against anyone Israel Folau says he is "standing firm" in his beliefs following a controversial remark that god's plan for gay people was "hell".On Saturday, the Waratahs fullback will be back on the field for the first time since late March after injuring his hamstring against the ACT Brumbies.

Most tries. Israel Folau (31). League(s). Super Rugby . This was essentially the birth of rugby league in Australia . The 1906 NSW team. The 2014 season of the super rugby competition was undoubtedly the Waratahs greatest season so far. National teams. Men's. Wallabies . 7's. U-20.

Israel Folau has escaped sanction by Rugby Australia in the wake of his controversial comments on homosexuality. Rugby Australia ‘accepts Folau ’s position’. Wallabies player says he was misrepresented. Australian Associated Press.

The player affirms that he has no regrets and no grudges against those who have attacked him, saying “it’s nothing to do personally with anyone, teammates or anyone that is involved in the game.”

However, a former Wallaby Nic White and a former All Black Brad Weber, in the name of diversity, say that they are disgusted at having to share the same code as Case 1.

These comments are applauded by rugby authorities and most of the rugby media.

Case 2: A senior Waratahs and Wallaby player who is often promoted in the media as the gregarious face of the rugby game gets drunk on his buck’s night.

Folau considering leaving Waratahs

  Folau considering leaving Waratahs Israel Folau is set to leave the NSW Waratahs if he decides to re-sign with Rugby Australia. According to News Corp, Folau might be on the move if he stays in the game, with a potential landing spot being the Queensland Reds.This all comes after Folau’s wife Maria took aim at the Waratahs for moving him to the wing for the final stages of their match against Auckland on Saturday.The Wallabies fullback has reportedly spoken to Reds coach Brad Thorn about a move north but there are a few obstacles in the way.

Image caption Israel Folau is a high-profile rugby union player for Australia . Rugby Australia says it does not support the views of star player Israel Folau after he suggested that gay people would end up in hell. The Wallabies player was widely criticised for the comment

Wallabies fullback Israel Folau will face a hearing in front of World Rugby officials after receiving a warning over a second incident separate to his yellow-card offence in Australia ’s series-deciding loss to Ireland in Sydney.

At a function in Sydney’s upmarket Woollahra Hotel and dressed in a cow’s suit he urinates over the bar. He is carted away in disgrace. He is so intoxicated he has very little recollection of the incident.

Case 2 then announces that he takes his responsibilities as a senior player in the Waratahs very seriously. He says “I’m a goose” and that he wants to “make sure that everyone knows how sorry I am.”

He is fined $4000, suspended from his leadership role with the Waratahs and cleared to play five days after the incident against the Auckland Blues, a must-win match for the Waratahs.

Andrew Webster, the star sports writer for the Herald, notes: “Look, we’re not condoning this sort of behaviour but … it happens.”

This passive and, let’s be honest, condoning attitude to the grotty cow’s suit incident is opposite to the strong condemnation promoted by Webster on the tweet made by Case 1.

'Religious lunatic': former Wallaby slams Folau as Reds circle

  'Religious lunatic': former Wallaby slams Folau as Reds circle Former Wallaby Clyde Rathbone has offered the strongest criticism yet of Israel Folau as the Reds openly court the controversial fullback.Israel Folau continues to divide opinion and divert attention from the Waratahs' Super Rugby campaign with former Wallaby Clyde Rathbone labelling him a "religious lunatic" and Reds coach Brad Thorn calling him an "outstanding human".

Comments & replies. Australia ’s highest-profile rugby union player Israel Folau has again courted controversy after posting a link on social media to a video that warns against “tolerance” of same-sex marriage.

This is Wallabies star Israel Folau . Folau is a devoted Christian, and his comments divided public opinion, with some calling for him to be sacked or reprimanded by Rugby Australia , stating that his comments were against the sport's inclusion policy, which states

Nic White and Brad Weber do not comment on the Case 2 incident.

This silence creates the presumption that they find the tweet of Case 1 far more unacceptable than behaviour of Case 2.

Now here are some key questions.

Would we be interested in what Israel Folau (Case 1) or Nic Phipps (Case 2) say or do if they were not professional rugby players?

If the answer to this question is no (as it is reasonable to assume), then who out of Folau and Phipps has actually behaved in a way that threatens his ability to play competently as a professional rugby player?

Bear in mind, that a day or so before the incident in the hotel bar, Nick Phipps had been a member of the Waratahs squad that was defeated in Sydney, 29–0, by the touring South African side the Lions.

This was the first nil-loss by the Waratahs in Super Rugby.

You would have thought that a senior member of the Waratahs and other senior members with him, including the Waratahs captain Michael Hooper (but not Israel Folau), would have had more respect for their club than to allow Phipps’ drunken cow’s suit incident to even happen.

'To Hell with your small mind, Folau'

  'To Hell with your small mind, Folau' The anti-gay rugby star faced a lone protester in Christchurch.Folau, along with his Waratah teammates, touched down in Christchurch on Friday ahead of their Saturday night clash against the Crusaders.

Rugby Australia will not issue sanction Wallabies star Israel Folau over latest comments . Folau said in his column for playersvoice.com.au that in a meeting last week with RA chief executive Raelene Castle and Waratahs CEO Andrew Hore, he gave his bosses the option to sack him.

Israel Folau (Tongan: Isileli Folau ; born 3 April 1989) is an Australian professional rugby union footballer who plays for the Waratahs in Super Rugby . He has previously played professional rugby league and Australian rules football.

Is this the sort of behaviour that should be condoned when the Waratahs faced, five days later, the Auckland Blues, a match that Mark Ella reported in his Saturday column in the Australian, “is a game the Waratahs must win, for their own sake and for the sake of Australian rugby?”

Going into the Waratahs-Blues match at Manly’s Brookvale Oval (a great initiative by the Waratahs franchise, incidentally), the New Zealand Super Rugby teams had won 37 successive matches against their Australian opponents.

This dire run of losses prompted the New Zealand Herald’s Gregor Paul to predict that Australian rugby has set its “course for oblivion … and is no use to New Zealand any more if the Waratahs can’t put away the Blues …”

That is nonsense, of course. But there was something more important in Paul’s rant that Rugby Australia needs to absorb when he made this accusation: “Rugby in Australia has set course for oblivion and intends to be in a thousand pieces by the time it arrives.”

There are any number of points that can be made that give credence to this harsh judgment. And central to these points is the observation that the rugby authorities in Australia appear to have forgotten their primary mission, which should be to promote the rugby game in Australia.

Why is Rugby Australia’s board stacked with people whose expertise has nothing to do with understanding the rugby game?

Rugby stars show their support for diversity

  Rugby stars show their support for diversity Amidst the controversy stirred by Israel Folau and his views on homosexuality, other Super Rugby stars have been promoting inclusiveness. TJ Perenara and Ardie Savea were among a group of Hurricanes stars who wore rainbow shoelaces during Friday night's game against the Blues."Jamming rainbow laces with the brothers to support diversity in our game," Savea said on Instagram.https://www.instagram.com/p/BionDWvHAMh/"More than a game," Perenara said, sharing a photo of himself and Savea with teammates Michael Fatialofa and Blade Thomson holding their boots in the sheds.

Waratahs and Wallabies star Israel Folau has lost his appeal against a one-match suspension and will miss Friday night's match against the Rebels. The fullback was yellow-carded during Australia 's third Test against Ireland and was then issued a citing commissioner's warning over contact with

Why was the CEO appointed with no experience, other than watching, with the rugby game?

Why does the Rugby Australia board and the CEO allow the head of the Rugby Australia national coaching panel, Rod Kafer, to go on Sky Sports and then bag the players his coaching systems are supposed to be improving?

Why is Andrew Forrest, the billionaire mining magnate, being kept at arm’s length by Rugby Australia? Why isn’t he being embraced? Has he been offered a place on the board?

And putting this question into context is the observation that it was remarkable and indeed wonderful to see Andrew Forrest rush on to the field to check on the injured Force player, Peter Grant, as he was being pushed into the dressing room on a stretcher during the Force-Fiji Warriors match in Perth on Friday night.

The first World Series Rugby contest drew a crowd (with freebies to rugby-playing kids) of 18,000. The promotion of the series made the Super Rugby productions look mediocre by comparison.

Yet you get the impression that Forrest is being treated by Rugby Australia as an enemy rather than as a potential saviour.

During the Waratahs–Blues match it became obvious that Israel Folau is the only world-class player the Waratahs have.

I would rate Bernard Foley, Kurtley Beale and Michael Hooper as very good Super Rugby players (at times) and the rest of the Waratahs squad as sliding up and down between good and average professional rugby players.

Foley, Beale and Hooper all did good things during the match against the Blues, with Hooper’s blazing, runaway try a highlight. But in crucial times in the match, they did not deliver.

Wallabies coach stands by under-fire Folau

  Wallabies coach stands by under-fire Folau Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has spoken for the first time about superstar fullback Israel Folau's divisive posts about homosexuals.Speaking for the first time since Folau sparked a storm of controversy six weeks ago with with the first of a series of divisive posts about gays, Cheika said anyone who disagreed with his religious beliefs - including homosexuals - should ignore them.

There were many occasions, including during the last desperate minutes of the match, when phase after phase was punched out by the Waratahs and the knockout punch not delivered.

Playmakers of high quality would have converted a couple of these sequences of pressure on the Blues try-line into points.

The last sequence of plays involved 19 phases and ended with Beale kicking across to Folau. Not even Folau’s supreme athleticism could result in pushing the ball back into the field of play. The kick was the wrong play, “the lowest percentage play the Waratahs could have played,” according to Greg Martin.

After the match, both coach Daryl Gibson and Beale, the kicker, suggested that the Waratahs believed that a penalty had been ruled in their favour which, in turn, gave Beale a licence to take a punt on the cross kick.

Whatever, it was the wrong play at the wrong time. The play exposed the bankruptcy of ideas the Waratahs have in their playbook to score from close range.

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This gets us back to Israel Folau.

At the beginning of the game, the Blues tested him a lot with high balls. They gave away this tactic when it became clear that, like with Ben Smith, he is a dominating force when leaping for the ball.

Folau also snared two kick-offs and with catching and then his running was instrumental in turning one of these kick-offs into a Waratahs try.

Every time Folau got the ball he made metres and created chances for the Waratahs.

All this leads to the inevitable conclusion. The Waratahs are a mediocre team without Israel Folau.

Folau has car seized over gay comments .
Controversial Wallabies star Israel Folau has reportedly had his sponsored car taken off him following comments made on social media about homosexuality. Car company Land Rover had given Folau a new vehicle after signing on to be Rugby Australia’s car sponsor but were apparently so upset by the star’s social media posts regarding the gay community, they seized the car according to the Daily Telegraph.Folau posted that gays were destined for hell on April 2 and the car was apparently repossessed only a week later.

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