SYDNEY (Reuters) - Rugby Australia (RA) has scheduled a code of conduct hearing for May 4 over Israel Folau’s controversial social media comments, the governing body has said.
The 30-year-old Folau, a devout Christian, sparked controversy for the second time in 12 months after posting comments on social media that gay people were destined for “hell” if they did not “repent”.
Both RA and the New South Wales Waratahs had said they intended to terminate his contract over the posts. Folau asked last week for the hearing.
“Rugby Australia has today confirmed the Code of Conduct hearing for Wallabies and Waratahs back Israel Folau will commence on Saturday 4 May,” the governing body said in a media statement.
“The hearing will be heard by a three-member panel consisting of John West (Chair), Kate Eastman, and John Boultbee at the Rugby Australia Building in Sydney.”
RA has also set aside Sunday if the hearing goes into a second day.
Folau has been stood down from all rugby activity by the Waratahs, while several of his team mates have spoken out against his comments.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has said he was unlikely to select him again, a setback for Australia’s hopes of winning the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year.
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Peter Rutherford