DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND — AUGUST 26: Israel Folau of the Wallabies looks on during The Rugby Championship Bledisloe Cup match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australia Wallabies at Forsyth Barr Stadium on August 26, 2017 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND — AUGUST 26: Israel Folau of the Wallabies looks on during The Rugby Championship Bledisloe Cup match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australia Wallabies at Forsyth Barr Stadium on August 26, 2017 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Folau ready to quit rugby for his religious beliefs

ISRAEL Folau's future in Australian rugby remains on tenterhooks.

The Wallabies star has reinforced his comments that gays are destined for hell unless they repent their sins, while revealing he offered to walk away from the game at the meeting he held with bosses Raelene Castle and Andrew Hore last Tuesday.

In a column for the Players Voice website posted on Monday night, Folau also said he felt misrepresented by Castle.

"During the meeting I told them it was never my intention to hurt anyone with the Instagram comment, but that I could never shy away from who I am, or what I believe," Folau wrote.

Folau has stood by his remarks despite heavy criticism.
Folau has stood by his remarks despite heavy criticism.

"They explained their position and talked about external pressure from the media, sponsors and different parts of the community, which I understand.

"I acknowledge Raelene and Andrew have to run things in a way that appeals broadly to their executive, fans and sponsors, as well as its players and staff. It is a business.

"After we'd all talked, I told Raelene if she felt the situation had become untenable - that I was hurting Rugby Australia, its sponsors and the Australian rugby community to such a degree that things couldn't be worked through - I would walk away from my contract, immediately.

The Instagram post that sparked all the controversy.
The Instagram post that sparked all the controversy.

"I feel I need to explain this part in more detail because at no stage over the past two weeks have I wanted that to happen.

"There have been things written about me angling to get a release from my Rugby Australia deal to pursue an NRL contract. That simply isn't true. There have been rugby offers from the UK, Europe and Japan that are way above anything I could earn in Australia.

"This is not about money or bargaining power or contracts. It's about what I believe in and never compromising that, because my faith is far more important to me than my career and always will be.

"After the meeting I went home, turned on the TV and was really disappointed with some of the things that were said in the press conference.

"I felt Raelene misrepresented my position and my comments, and did so to appease other people, which is an issue I need to discuss with her and others at Rugby Australia.

"That aside, I hope Raelene and Andrew appreciate my position, even if it differs with theirs.

"I love rugby union. It has allowed me to travel all over the world and meet some fascinating people along the way."

Folau, who is off contract at the end of this year, reinforced his belief that homosexuals were destined for hell based on Biblical text.

The Wallabies fullback is off-contract at the end of the year.
The Wallabies fullback is off-contract at the end of the year.

"I was asked a question by somebody about what God's plan is for gay people," Folau wrote.

"My response to the question is what I believe God's plan is for all sinners, according to my understanding of my Bible teachings, specifically 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10:

'Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor the drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.'

"I do not know the person who asked the question, but that didn't matter. I believed he was looking for guidance and I answered him honestly and from the heart. I know a lot of people will find that difficult to understand, but I believe the Bible is the truth and sometimes the truth can be difficult to hear."


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