Folau says he refused 'temptation' of Rugby Aus's offer

Paola Ditto
Mag 16, 2019

Australian full-back Israel Folau says he resisted opportunities to make his situation "a little bit easier" and return to playing because it would be doing "Satan's" work.

Israel Folau awaits his fate after being found guilty of a "high-level" breach of his contract.

According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, Folau told the panel during his code of conduct hearing he posted the Bible quote on social media because "God spoke to me".

The player, who is a fundamentalist Christian, has remained steadfast in the wake of the controversial social media post and doubled down on those comments while speaking to a church congregation in Sydney on Sunday.

"Potentially I could get terminated which means there is no more playing contract and therefore no more finances money coming in", Folau said.

"The way that Satan works, he offers you stuff that could look good to the eye and makes you feel comfortable".

Australia's director of rugby Scott Johnson admits the drawn-out Israel Folau saga is hurting the game and revealed he has spoken to Polynesian players concerned their religious beliefs are under attack.

"Last week probably epitomised it for me, where we had such a successful under-20s campaign in defeating New Zealand for the first time in such a long period, the Brumbies had a good come-from-behind win and rugby's not spoken about", he said.

"The opportunity that had presented itself, it crossed my mind that my can possibly go back to the way that it used to be", Folau said.

Folau has a right to appeal but the panel's endorsement of RA's judgement is sufficient for RA and the Waratahs to dismiss the 73-test back.

But he doesn't foresee any split, despite 2018 Super Rugby rookie of the year Taniela Tupou, who idolises Folau and shares a Tongan heritage with his Wallabies teammate, posting his anger and hurt on Facebook.

"It is always the will of God that comes first".

"That's the most frustrating thing and everything appears to be negative or a slant by an individual or a comment about the individual".

A three-person tribunal is considering what sanction it merits, which could range from the sack, as demanded by the governing body, to a suspension or fines.

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