Israel Folau stood down by Waratahs until further notice

The Waratahs have stood down under-fire fullback Israel Folau until further notice, after his anti-gay posts on social media.

Less than 24 hours after Rugby Australia (RA) said "in the absence of compelling mitigating factors" Folau's contract would be terminated, the 30-year old met with RA boss Raelene Castle and the New South Wales (NSW) Rugby Union.

No suspension was imposed on Folau, but NSW Rugby confirmed it would stand him down.

The Waratahs are not playing this weekend, but are in action next weekend against the Rebels.

Folau landed in hot water this week, after posting on Instagram that Hell awaited "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolaters", unless they repented. He did the same almost exactly 12 months ago and was put on a very short leash by his employers.

The stand-down comes after a joint statement from NSW Rugby and RA, saying their views hadn't changed and they still intended to tear up his multimillion-dollar contract.

"As the meeting was held in confidence between the player and his employers, Rugby Australia and the NSW Rugby Union will not comment on the discussions at the meeting," RA said.

"Following today's meeting, the two organisations will update their respective boards on the matter to consider next steps. Our joint position regarding Israel Folau is unchanged."  

Earlier, Folau and his New Zealand netball wife Maria were seen with Rugby Union Players' Association (RUPA) chief executive Prataal Raj at a café.

RUPA said it would continue to work with Folau, and that he remained contracted to RA and NSW Rugby, but that the union did not endorse his views.

"It is important to note that Israel remains contracted to both Rugby Australia and the NSW Waratahs at this time, and as such, has signalled his intention to continue to honour his contract," RUPA said.

"It is RUPA's position that any disciplinary action must be dealt with in accordance with the Rugby AU Professional Player Code of Conduct.

"RUPA will continue to offer our support to Israel as required. The views expressed by Israel are his alone and are not endorsed by RUPA."


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