Israel Folau: Rugby Australia deny discouraging players from supporting former team-mate
Rugby Australia (RA) primary executive Raelene Castle has defended the governing body’s handling of this Israel Folau affair, even following remarks from Christian players claiming they had been discouraged by openly encouraging their sacked team-mate.
Wallabies center Samu Kerevi and prior prop Sekope Kepu filed affidavits in support in November.
Former Queensland Reds captain Kerevi said he and other players were warned to not comment about the issue Following Folau was last May for posting remarks on social networking.
“In the time that I wished to support Israel openly. I couldn’t since the gamers (including me) were informed by management to not comment on the matter,” Kerevi stated in court records.
Kepu stated he’d boycotted a Wallabies coaching camp July because he was”so upset about the way by which direction had handled Israel’s situation”.
“I didn’t think that it could be a fantastic thing for me to attend,” he said.
Kepu additional after Folau’s sacking, that prayer classes involving Christian gamers had ceased.
“There is not any doubt to me that the Wallabies would have gone further in the 2019 Rugby World Cup had Israel been around the team [because of] his impact on and off the field, Kepu stated of the team quarter-final departure from Japan.”
Castle said most players had been given an chance and RA had no involvement in quitting prayer meetings.
“I’m so insulted that individuals think that will be acceptable behavior for Rugby Australia,” she explained.
“I am on public record saying I’m proud of this fact that Israel was a strongly Christian guy and was proud of his religion and expressed it .
“However he made a comment that has been insulting.
“I felt we engaged as broadly as possible about what was a very tough issue and [the players] were given chances to speak both privately and publicly.”