Gibson hopes outspoken star stays in rugby
Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson hopes Israel Folau stays in rugby despite revealing he has threatened to leave the code in a controversial column that was published on Monday night.
Folau doubled down on his Instagram comment two weeks ago that God’s plan for gay people was ‘‘HELL’’, by writing in a column, published on Players Voice, that it was in fact a sin to be a homosexual.
He also said he was prepared to walk away from rugby if asked to by chief executive Raelene Castle, who he criticised for misrepresenting his comments after their meeting last week.
Gibson yesterday described Folau’s column as ‘‘balanced’’ and said it gave a greater understanding of the player’s perspective.
When pressed on Folau’s immedi- ate and long-term future in rugby, Gibson had few answers.
‘‘I can’t talk for Rugby Australia,’’ Gibson said. ‘‘He certainly made it clear on his position.’’
Asked if he thought Folau would turn his back on the 15-man code, Gibson replied: ‘‘That’s not for me to decide. I know those discussions are ongoing and the dialogue between Rugby Australia and Israel is continuing and there hasn’t been a timeframe put on those discussions. Those are questions for Rugby Australia.
‘‘We want Israel to stay in rugby. That’s the first thing. He enjoys the game and so our immediate concerns are making sure he stays in rugby and that he’s happy here.
‘‘What I think is irrelevant. Israel made it really clear that what he expressed aren’t the views of Rugby Australia or the Waratahs.’’
Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson.