Former Wallabies coach Bob Dwyer has slammed Rugby Australia for its decision to sack star player Israel Folau claiming the case was “incredibly badly handled”.
While Dwyer admitted Folau made the wrong choice to “confront and affront” people with his views, he is still a good guy and was just quoting the bible.
“I thought it was incredibly badly handled by the ARU,” he said according to The Sydney Morning Herald. “I would have thought you could have reached a conclusion that didn’t look like this.”
Dwyer went on to say that for the most part Folau is an “absolute credit” to the game and he shouldn’t have been treated the way he has for voicing his religion.
“At a time in sports when we are seeing some of the worst behaviours in sport, we’ve got this guy who’s the exact opposite,” he continued. “I think it would be a sad, sad day if he’s lost to Australian sport.”
His comments come just days after Folau was sacked by Rugby Australia in relation to a number of anti-gay comments he shared on social media last month.
The news was confirmed on Friday afternoon as rugby boss Raelene Castle delivered a press conference in Sydney, revealing that the 30-year-old star’s four-year contract has been terminated, after a decision was handed down from an independent three-member panel.
“While Rugby Australia accepts the panel’s decision directing termination of Israel Folau’s playing contract for his high-level breach of the Code of Conduct, we want to stress that this outcome is a painful situation for the game,” Castle said, admitting she was “really sad” about the matter.
“Rugby Australia did not choose to be in this situation, but Rugby Australia’s position remains that Israel, through his actions, left us with no choice but to pursue this course of action.
“This has been an extremely challenging period for Rugby and this issue has created an unwanted distraction in an important year for the sport and for the Wallabies team. But our clear message to all Rugby fans today is that we need to stand by our values and the qualities of inclusion, passion, integrity, discipline, respect and teamwork.”
Chief Executive Castle added: “Israel is a great Rugby player and we are disappointed and saddened by the fact that he will not see out his four-year commitment to the Wallabies and Waratahs.”