Relationship breakdown in Folau mess
ISRAEL Folau has lost a lot in the wake of his saga with Rugby Australia after making controversial anti-gay social media posts in April.
And now the Wallabies star looks set to lose his relationship with one of his longest-serving allies.
According to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald, Folau has all but turned his back on manager Isaac Moses as the 30-year-old braces for the announcement of his penalty for his Instagram post last month.
Moses, who represents many high-profile rugby and rugby league players, has stood by Folau since the talented athlete was just 14 years old.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that although Moses remained Folau's agent, the pair had a falling-out when Folau refused to speak with the Waratahs and Rugby Australia in the direct aftermath of his April 10 post - where he quoted a Bible passage saying homosexuals, among other "sinners", would go to hell.
Folau resisted opportunities to settle things with Rugby Australia and refused to remove the post, despite Moses' advice.
Making matters worse for their relationship, Folau is also understood to have grown closer to Moses' former business partner Joe Wehbe, who launched court action against Moses over a financial dispute.
Moses was not present at Folau's code of conduct hearing in Sydney, with wife Maria Folau appearing in support.
The Sydney Morning Herald confirmed Folau had rejected an offer from Rugby Australia to enter settlement talks prior to the hearing. He later stated he was willing to front a low-level breach due to his posts offending some players and fans.
But given Folau's refusal to take down the post or make a concession that he would not make similar comments in future, it's likely the Waratahs star's four-year, $4 million dollar contract will be terminated under a high-level breach of the code of conduct.
Earlier this week, Folau offered an explanation for his posts for the first time, saying it was a message from God and that he had resisted contact with Rugby Australia to settle things because he believed it was "Satan's work".
"There have been many opportunities to potentially make the situation a little bit easier. I could go back and play the game, get everything back to the way it used to be," he said in a sermon at church.
"The way Satan works is he offers you stuff that could look good to the eye and makes you feel comfortable, and if you follow that path all the worries and troubles will go away. (But) it is always the will of God that comes first."
The three-person independent panel that oversaw Folau's code of conduct hearing is expected to reach a decision this week.
This article first appeared in the NZ Herald and was reproduced with permission