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Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s  Rugby News sees Another article regarding Israel Folau, James Horwill calls time, Pocock back for tour, another All Black injury.


HORWILL CALLS TIME

 

James Horwill

James Horwill

Former Wallabies and Reds captain James Horwill has called time on his 14 year rugby career, announcing via social media that he will retire at the end of the season with English side Harlequins .

“The time has come for me to retire from professional rugby. I have given this great game everything I have & I feel I can no longer give what is needed to play at this elite level,” he wrote.

“Rugby has been a big part of my life for many years, never in my wildest dreams would I have envisaged the incredible journey it has taken me on.

I’ve had the privilege and honour to not only play, but captain my state, country and club on a number of occasions over my 14-year career.”

“Winning the Super Rugby title and being asked to captain my country are some of the moments I’ll cherish for a lifetime,” he wrote.

“I want to thank all the coaches and staff I’ve worked with over my career, you have all made an impact and shaped me into the player I am today.”

“Special thanks must go to the physios and doctors, who have put me back together. We spent more time together than I would have liked, but without your care, I wouldn’t have played as long,” he wrote.

“To all the players I have had the pleasure to play with (and against), you are why I have loved my career so much. We have made some unforgettable memories and I know I have friends for life.

“To the fans all over the world, who have supported me throughout my career, thank you .

“My job would not have existed without you; you are what makes this game so special.”

Horwill boasts and impressive resume including 120 Queensland caps, A Super Rugby Champion captain, 62 Wallabies test caps including 16 as captain, a Tri-Nations winner and 66 appearance for Harlequins in English Premier Rugby.

Known as ‘Big Kev’ the 33 year old spoke to Fox Sports about his decisions to call time on his Rugby career.

“I had an injury riddled start to the year and I had been thinking about it and I didn’t want to be one of those people that played on for too long,” Horwill told foxsports.com.au from London.

“I guess I’d rather retire a year early than a year late and drag yourself on and go through the motions, and that was something that eventually came to the reality in my head.

“After a lot of conversations with my wife and family the time was just right. While it’s tough to walk away I think it’s for the right reasons and I’m excited about what the future may hold.”

Horwill has a lot of fond memories in Australian Rugby but his highlight was winning the Super Rugby title back in 2011.

“I’d have to say the Super Rugby title (was the highlight).” Horwill said.

“Winning trophies is important, but I think the way it happened and the years prior, from where we were, losing by 92 points to the Bulls, we’d probably bottomed out as an organisation, lost a lot of players, lost a lot of fans, probably lost a lot of respect, so to work slowly and gradually get that respect back and eventually win the whole thing at Suncorp against the Crusaders, who are won of the greatest provincial franchises in the world, that was very, very satisfying.”

“It was a bit of a blur,” Horwill jokes about the celebrations.

“I don’t think many of us wanted to let go of the trophy.

“It was one of those things, we ended up having a bit of an after-party just up the road at the Normanby and I just remember being on the bar with the trophy with a lot of people standing on the bar filling it up with beer and eventually vodka red bulls.

“The trophy itself I remember weighs about 18 kilograms without anything in it and it takes a lot of liquid, so when you fill it up it does weigh a bit.”

Congratulations on an amazing career James “Big Kev” Horwill.

IZZY DONE

"I got your back God"

“I got your back God”

Israel Folau’s rugby career in Australia is all but done.

Yesterday, Rugby Australia and NSWRU issued Folau a breach of conduct notice over his social media posts from April 10th. The Rugby Australia integrity unit deemed Folau’s actions as a high level breach of the Players Code of Conduct. They believe this warrants his termination.

Folau now has 48 to either accept the sanction or face a Code of Conduct hearing. Though Melbourne Rebels and Wester Force fans know exactly how long a Rugby Australia 48-72 hours can be.

Raelene Castle, Rugby Australia CEO, said at the press conference: “At its core, this is an issue of the responsibilities an employee owes to their employer and the commitments they make to their employer to abide by their employer’s policies and procedures and adhere to their employer’s values.

“Following the events of last year, Israel was warned formally and repeatedly about the expectations of him as player for the Wallabies and NSW Waratahs with regards to social media use and he has failed to meet those obligations. It was made clear to him that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people because of their sexuality will result in disciplinary action.

“All professional Rugby players in Australia are bound by the Code of Conduct and there is a process in place for any disciplinary matter. We appreciate that this particular matter will attract significant interest, but due process must be followed.”

The press conference came off the back of another one, where Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, Wallabies and Waratahs captain Michael Hooper and Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson addressed the media as a united front.

Cheika told the media he believed he wouldn’t have to address this issue again after the last time Folau posted about homosexuals going to hell.

“No I didn’t to be honest. We had a discussion after the last time  and made it pretty clear about his right to believe and our support in that, if that’s what he wants, to be part of the team,” he said on Monday.

“But getting out in that disrespectful manner publicly is not what our team is about.

“When you play in the gold jersey we represent everyone in Australia, everyone.

“Everyone that is out there supporting us, we don’t pick and choose.

“I felt that I needed to talk to him (Folau) about why but I haven’t had that chance as yet.”

Cheika believes that as it stand he couldn’t select Folau for the Wallabies.

“Disappointed in the fact that we’re here again,” Gibson said, 

“Second year running that we’re fronting up around an issue that on a large extent we’d settled and the impact that it has on the team.

“I think last year the team responded very well in the circumstance.

“This is not new ground for us and it’s something we’re going to have to do again.”

Hooper agreed with his coach: “It’s frustrating that I have to stand here.

“I can’t speak on Izzy’s behalf here today but what I can speak on is the footy we’ve got ahead and that sort of thing.

“It’s hard being here, we’re rugby players for sure, we are trying to create the best team environment we possibly can and at national level.”

Neither Cheika or Gibson have heard from Folau, but Hooper has exchanged txt messages with his teammate. 

You can watch the press conference here

Folau made his first public comments to the Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday at a Truth Of Jesus Christ Church service 

“It’s obviously a decision that’s in the process right now but I believe in a God that’s in control of all things,”

“Whatever His will is, whether that’s to continue playing or not, I’m more than happy to do what He wants me to do.”

Folau said his comments came from a place of love.

“I’ll stand on what the Bible says,” he said.

“I share it with love. I can see the other side of the coin where people’s reactions are the total opposite to how I’m sharing it.

“But in Ezekiel, chapter 33, verse 11, it says that ‘God has no pleasure in the person that’s living in sin’  … He’s a loving God and he wants people to turn away from what they’re living in and he’ll give them life.

“That’s the message that I’m trying to share, even though it comes across as harsh. I can’t change what the word of God says.”

POCOCK IN FOR AFRICA TOUR

Pocock-Australia-England-Rugby-World-Cup-359234

Good news for Brumbies fans with David Pocock named to join the touring squad bound for Africa and Argentina.

Pocock hasn’t played in over a month, with his niggling calf injury carrying over from the Wallabies January camp and flaring up again despite his best efforts on the field.

Despite a month away from the game, Brumbies coach Dan McKellar is confident that the Wallabies backrower would be up to the challenge if called upon.

“Poey’s one of the few blokes in the country who can not have played for a long period of time and come back in and perform at an extremely high level,” he said.

“His on-ball work but just the confidence he brings to the group. The opposition have got to worry about David Pocock.

“I think most teams would breathe a sigh of relief if he’s not in the opposition.”

In more positive news for the Brumbies, Locky McCaffrey will also make the trip despite there being concerns around his knee after he was subbed off during the Brumbies win over the Lions on Saturday.

McCaffrey has found a new element to his game this season, being a key part of the Brumbies forward pack and one of the inform backrower in Australia.

McKellar has named the same 23 from Saturday’s match plus five new inclusions for the tour.

Pocock, Lock Murray Douglas, prop Tom Ross and backs Mack Hansen and Wharenui Hawera have all been include in the Squad.

The Brumbies play the Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday April 20, kicking off at 3:05pm local, 11:05pm AEST

Forwards

Allan Alaalatoa Rory Arnold Jahrome Brown Sam Carter Tom Cusack Murray Douglas Folau Fainga’a Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin Josh Mann-Rea Lachlan Mccaffrey David Pocock Tom Ross Pete Samu

Scott Sio James Slipper Darcy Swain

Backs

Tom Banks Mack Hansen Wharenui Hawera Tevita Kuridrani Christian Lealiifano Matt Lucas Andy Muirhead Joe Powell Toni Pulu Irae Simone Henry Speight Tom Wright

 

 MCKENZIE OUT WITH ACL

Tahs v Chiefs 2016

New Zealand’s injuries list grew over the weekend with Chiefs playmaker Damien McKenzie ruled out for the World Cup after tearing his ACL against the Blues on the weekend.

“He could be out for eight to nine months,” All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

“It’s a real shame for him, his World Cup opportunity has gone.

“He’s still young enough to probably make the next two (World Cups) so it creates another opportunity for somebody else.

“We’ve got to expect injuries and there’ll be more than just him, I suggest, by the time we finally name the team to go to the World Cup.” 

McKenzie has 23 All Blacks caps to his name and offers versatility as a fly half or full back.

Sonny Bill Williams and Sam Cane lead the All Blacks injury list as they race against the clock to get fighting fit for the World Cup. Cane, who broke his neck last year playing for the All Blacks against South Africa, has begun light training.

“What is important is he comes back when he is ready and he is confident,” Hansen said.

Other All Blacks in the rehab group are Owen Franks, Aaron Smith, Liam Squire, Luke Whitelock, Codie Taylor, Waisake Naholo and George Bridge.

“We know there will be (more) injuries in the next two or three months so our whole planning now is based on what happens when this happens,” All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster told Radio Sport.

“We don’t like it but we’ve just got to make sure we control what we can control and have the best possible medical programme that gives them a fighting chance to come back strong.”

Most of the injured players have been included in the training camps so that All Black staff can help give them every opportunity to make the World Cup Squad.

An injury to an Australian Rugby player and the community screams “what now!” in New Zealand they can cry out “Next!”

 

  • IIPA

    Will miss watching DMac at the RWC a lot more than I’ll miss watching Izzy….and I’m a Wallabies fan !

    That said something didn’t sit quite right with the Gibson-Cheika-Hooper press conference. A bit like when someone leaves an organisation and everyone starts saying things like we never liked him much anyway, he wasn’t much chop…. Kafer was first to put the boot in that way.

    Good to see Poey back, 2019 thus far is a shallow body of work for him and if there was a mid year test match you’d be hard pressed to currently argue the selection of Hooper at 7.

    Really wish Brumbies would give JJH some more match time. Wright showed what fast feet can do at 12, but needs work on pass-catch. JJH has distribution skills also.

  • Timbo

    Let the circus commence. I know it’s flogging a dead horse, but if Folau had a clause in his contract that said he wasn’t allowed to publically speak about religious matters, surely that’s a suppression of his ‘right’ to tell people ‘good news’ as he sees it.
    If the code of conduct has the same clause, that’s also an issue surely. Not even the Public service has anything like that in its code of conduct.
    If a paraphrase of the bible is considered hate speech, why do we use it to swear oaths in legal and political proceedings?

    Congrats to Jimmy Horwill on his retirement. Did a lot for aus rugby while he was here. My endearing memory however, will be his face after he got into a scrap with Imanol Harinordoquy.

    • IIPA

      I don’t think it’s the paraphrased bible verse that’s got him into trouble it’s the whole giant warning sign listing the “worst of society” as he sees it.

      • Timbo

        But that giant list is straight from 1st Corinthians. Galatians has a similar list. Had it been, like last time, his own opinion, yes, he has breeched the code of conduct, however this is different. That’s not to say what he posted was right, but it sets a dangerous precedent in my opinion

        • Who?

          He quoted Galatians 5:19-21 directly alongside the graphic, so that’s where he was going.

      • joy

        It’s over-reach and rank hypocrisy that has RA in trouble.

    • RF

      Unlikely that he had a clause saying he wasn’t allowed to publicly speak about religious matters and likely that he had a clause prohibiting him to target groups

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s. Wow a lot of big news this morning, as I sit watching the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris burn to the ground. A travesty. Here we go:
    – Speaking of travesties. I wish this whole Israel thing would go away. It has sucked the oxygen out of so many more important things. Fire him. Have him resign. Don’t care! go away! There are more important things to focus on.
    – James Horwill. Now there is a great rugby man. A wonderful servant of the game, and a champion captain and player. I sure hope you go into commentary, after listening to you comment on a few games it was a breath of fresh air.
    – Pocock coming back is fantastic news. Lets hope he is like he always is. Returns like he has never been away. Please stay fit old boy, we need you for the Bill!
    – McKenzie out. Always sad to see a player of quality injured. Even when he is an All Black. A speedy recovery.
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Keith Butler

      Unfortunately BL the Folau issue will not go away. I reckon it will end up with an out of court settlement with him getting a nice golden parachute courtesy of RA. Good luck to Big Kev as well, i’m sure Alan Wyn Jones has fond memories of his feet! Also good luck to the Son of Satan (that smile) Damien – speedy recovery. ACLs always seem to look pretty innocuous when they happen. Won’t make the Rebs task against the Chiefs at the end of the season any easier though.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Oh so true.

        • Keith Butler

          The cynic in me might say that this was his plan after he’d signed his contract.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Well especially if it was a verbal agreement and never actually inserted into his contract.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          ‘Liars’ presumably not on his list of sinners? “I had my fingers crossed.”

        • Who?

          He did say last time he was a sinner…. Just proof?
          Or perhaps he doesn’t believe he’s broken the agreement. That he hasn’t been disrespectful to individual groups (though he clearly now understands that’s how RA interprets his actions).

        • Brisneyland Local

          HA ha! Well as soon as it is worth more than $10k, get it in writing was always the business advice I was given. If RA never bothered inserting the clasue into their contract, which and it has been a long time since I studied law, but they wouldnt be able to do it on a CBA. So they got him to give his word. Well this will be interesting if it goes to caught.

    • Richard Patterson

      The images of Notre Dame in flames are tremendously sad BL. France has lost a national treasure – irrespective of your religious beliefs.
      I believe the sooner rugby in Australia moves on from Israel Folau the better the sport will be. As talented as he is, his devisive actions will have split locker rooms and player groups. No one player is bigger than the sport and someone getting paid what he does needs to show greater respect to the people paying his outsized salary. He clearly does not understand this so I would terminate him and wish him well in future endeavours. What’s the alternative? Give him a 2nd warning and a 3rd chance? Rugby Australia must be brave and intelligent as to how it moves on.
      I wish James Horwill success but will always be left wondering quite what happened here. A world class lock forward at 26 in 2011 – whose career went downhill and never really recovered. In a position where you often get better with age, he seemed to flame out. Just another example where all the blame has to be laid at the feet of NZ Rugby! :)
      Tough for McKenzie. Good kid robbed of his opportunity to play in a Rugby World Cup. It hurt me missing out in 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 & 2015. After that many rejections I just lost the will to keep trying.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Hey mate not sure why NZ rugby is to blame for Horwill. Happy to hear your point. He was always a player you could respect for his work n the field. A great competitor and also able to be human and not big headed. I always liked him.
        DMac will be missed and it’s a real pity. He’ll be back though. Be interesting how they manage this, I think it’ll open the door for Jordie B in for him and then both Nonu and Luamape in the centres.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Pure gold on the ending.

      • idiot savant

        I wonder whether or not Kev might have had injury issues when he hit that flat spot in his career. But Ive noticed other big locks experience flat spots in mid career. Its as if the big frame struggles with stamina at a certain point and then finds a way to manage it and find a second wind. Nathan Sharpe was a bit like this and I thought Coleman hit a flat spot last year after exploding onto the scene earlier.

        • onlinesideline

          The mystery I could never understand was that when Horwill first came on the scene, I was doing cartwheels in my living room when we finally got a bloke who new how to take it up the guts with the right LOW body height – even had a little close in step. FINALLY, a lock who can get over the bloody advantage line. And then after about his third season in Gold it just all went ..POOOF…GONE. His whole taking up the middle changed, he was upright and getting held up at contact. Could never figure it out.

        • Who?

          As Dud said, he tore his hammy off the bone trying to pilfer at a breakdown in May 2012… Before that, he was talismanic – everything good that was happening for the Reds was off him (especially that year, with Cooper recovering from his knee reconstruction). Amazing how two injuries (Horwill and Cooper) could derail such a strong team… Very unlucky.

      • Dud Roodt

        I think one of the reasons for Horwill’s decline was when he tore his hammy off the bone against the Brumbies. A lot of people never truly recover some an injury that bad

      • joy

        The intelligent thing for RA to do is recognise Folau’s inalienable right to free speech before it forced on the organisation by the courts. Note that nothing Falou has said seems to be actionable in a legal sense since there has been no action taken (so far) by supposedly offended parties including a very powerful sponsor.

    • Happyman

      Big Kev What a player the emotion he showed when lifting the Super title and after the win against the B and Irish lions is to rare in modern sport.He is the sort of guy you would follow as he was clearly happy to pay the price to win. It would be great if he came back and played a season of QPR but would have to be unlikely.
      Pocock just wrap him in bubble wrap with a sign that says open in RWC19 contents Australian number 7 handle with care.
      I hope DMac comes back as the same player I just like the love that he plays the game with.
      I am happy that Falou has that level of certainty about his god and life. If he is about ove and not money then he will go quietly onto the night (Sorry did someone mention money, he joined Rugby for the money and will have no legacy upon exit after he tries to sue the Union)

      • Brisneyland Local

        HM, yep I did rate Big Kev.
        I am worried that if Israel sues RA he will win. RA have fucked up everything they have touched. I know they will fuck this up too!

      • onlinesideline

        that image of him wanting to play on after copping that shiner from the French says it all.

        • Dud Roodt

          Arguably the funniest black eye I’ve ever seen.
          Harinordoquy must have had a ring on or something

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Morning mate. Pretty sad for the French, they are doing it rough at the moment.
      I hope Pocock is fully recovered now as I think he’s needed. I know Cheika will still pick the Pooper and I think it’ll remain a Wallaby weakness. Good for Canberra though.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep very sad for the Froggies.
        Yep I am still worried that Cheika the Ass Clown will still play the Pooper. To not will be an admission of fault.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah and he never admits that. He had an interview the other day and he mentioned both Po cock and Hooper as 2 players he couldn’t leave out so I think it’ll happen

        • Brisneyland Local

          That is where I was hoping the other selectors would be able to apply pressure. But alas I think we should all concentrate on the future post the world cup.

        • onlinesideline

          dont forget he’s 1 of 3 selectors this year. Scott Johnstone is no pushover. There is hope.

        • Brisneyland Local

          OLSL. I am so hoping you are right. But so expecting we will get hosed over as fans once again.

    • Dylan Langes

      Sorry BL I don’t see Folau going quietly into the night, especially with his wife and church wanting their pound of flesh.
      I was sad I didn’t get to see Horwill when I watched Quinns play back in November but it was always great watching him play.
      Ive always enjoyed watching McKenzie play, definitely could have used him in a gold jersey.
      I pray at the alter of Pocock and hope he stays fit for the World Cup

      • RF

        Was Folau like this before he met his wife?

        • Dylan Langes

          He was a sponsor of the Bingham Cup before he did. I think he converted back to the LDS/ Mormon faith from Hillsong during their relationship

        • RF

          He’s not a Mormon now anyway, he is in one of the Pentecostal churches.

          I have no insight into the relationship at all and it could be a coincidence but this never seemed to be an issue before it and I haven’t appreciated her social media venting about rugby issues concerning him either.

        • Dylan Langes

          I thought I read he was a member of the latter day saints now, is that similar to the pentecostal? Im not familiar with all the denominations of Christianity.

        • RF

          It is different.

          Basically he’s a non-Catholic Christian, in one of the many protestant denominations.

        • Dud Roodt

          LDS are Mormons (they basically think an American was a prophet of Jesus’ or something, it’s fucking weird), Pentecostal are a branch of Christianity that are on the more extreme side of things, but within this there are many different interpretations. Some, like Folau’s, are a bit more of that good ol’ fashioned fire and brimstone. Some speak in tongues (I believe our enlightened PM is a member of such a church….).

        • onlinesideline

          Bet ya Izzy or our PM cant speak like this though

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnBupO_Kjto

        • Dylan Langes

          There you go I learnt something new.

        • Who?

          Dylan, that’s lazy reporting! :-P
          You’ve got it in your story – he attends the “Truth Of Jesus Christ Church”. So, with a little Googling…
          Yeah, it’s hard to find it. :-D
          .
          Dud’s right, LDS believe the Bible PLUS a book written by a bloke in the colonial US who claimed that Jesus moved to the US and hung out with the native Americans. Most churches don’t consider LDS (or JW’s) to be Christians in the traditional sense of the word, but where Catholics and Protestants might argue interpretations and traditions, they generally only hold to the same codified scriptures.
          Pentecostals are ‘just’ protestants. Many of their beliefs and the like are shared across many other denominations these days. The denominational lines seem to be blurring at the local level, and can seem to be more historical hangovers than current Exact interpretations can vary from church to church, even inside denominations (did you know there are ‘tongue talking’ Catholics..?).
          And many denominations, there’s not necessarily disciplinary authority up the tree. If a Catholic priest does something that’s not considered kosher (yeah, I know, wrong religion), that can go up the chain and he can be disciplined by local superiors all the way up to the Pope in Rome. Some denominations have similar options (not to Rome, obviously), but some are much more locally governed. Where a group of senior members of the church (elders) have final authority to overrule a pastor. It would seem that the ‘Truth of Jesus Christ Church’, which appears to be strongly embedded in the PI community, is organized in that manner.
          That would mean that it’s not necessarily mainstream, but neither is it ungoverned or unaccountable.
          Further background info:
          https://www.msn.com/en-au/sport/rugby-league/the-unusual-life-of-israel-folau-rugby-star-gave-his-dollar500k-salary-to-his-parents-and-descended-into-alcohol-women-and-sins-before-finding-faith-and-joining-his-wife-in-team-jesus/ar-BBVRNlZ#image=2.
          .
          .

          Fascinatingly, they had a bloke from Maurice Blackburn on The Project last night. They argued whether or not it was a freedom of religion issue, whether it was breach of code of conduct (they agreed that’s the story), and whether quoting an unedited form of scripture could be considered a breach of a code of conduct. The lawyer said he didn’t think the source mattered… The lawyer said he didn’t want to be on Folau’s side of the argument, as that would be the harder side to win, but I question that strongly. Because quoting a form of scripture being a breach of a code of conduct indicates that the code of conduct impinges on religious freedom.

          This is a MAJOR can of worms…….. It was always going to be an issue, I just wish the test case wasn’t in Rugby. :-(

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Agree, there’s a number of cans of worms here, and if Folau gets good legal representation and pursues things, it could take all sorts of twists and turns.

          For example, by putting clauses in an employment contract relating to Folau’s posts, RA may well have made his posts an employment activity. They then have some responsibility for seeing that those posts are done appropriately. Basically, if you put a 15 year old in charge of a semi trailer, and they crash it, who is at fault, the 15 year old or you? “I told him to be careful” doesn’t excuse you.

          In this case, Folau had a proven track record of having a different world view and interpretation of expressing “God’s love” to most people. It might be argued that RA left Folau discretion in interpreting what “being respectful” meant in this context. Given his proven beliefs and past, he could fairly easily say he interpreted “respectfulness” to the best of his ability. There was bound to be a misunderstand along these lines to some degree.

          Courts would hold RA to quite a high standard in managing public relations of staff – they have access to all sorts of expertise, and it is something they acknowledge is part of their role. Folau is a high school educated football player that no one expects to be a PR genius able to navigate issues that challenge the most experienced and knowledgeable experts, particularly in the presence of a media intent on presenting every statement in the most dramatic way possible.

          It’s really weird how RA can exclude someone while stating that they include everyone. They obviously don’t include religious people with extremely poor public relations abilities.

          Vunipola’s statement that got him in trouble was the most innocuous statement you could imagine. With him, it really is moving into the realm of religious suppression.

        • Who?

          It might be argued that RA left Folau discretion in interpreting what “being respectful” meant in this context.

          Exactly. The issue is who judges what’s respectful. And that can only ever be the person making the statement, when a statement is being made. Because that person can’t be expected see things from every other perspective.
          .
          It’s also worth noting that they said he couldn’t target anyone, but by listing a range of groups and only being examined over one, clearly the media and RA have been the ones doing the targeting, not Folau.
          .

          It’s really weird how RA can exclude someone while stating that they include everyone. They obviously don’t include religious people with extremely poor public relations abilities

          It’s also interesting given the PI community (many of whom come from backgrounds of strong religious faith, even if they don’t necessarily live it themselves – PI community, not necessarily including the Maori community. Though it was a Maori boy who got the team I once managed (after I stepped aside) to start saying Hail Mary’s and Our Fathers before games) is a key part of RA’s community. Especially at the elite level.
          .

          Vunipola’s statement that got him in trouble was the most innocuous statement you could imagine. With him, it really is moving into the realm of religious suppression

          Which is even more fascinating, given that the Queen is supposedly the head of the Church of England, her authority as head of state is endorsed by that position, and Britain – whilst no longer a one-church state – has a long history of being entwined with the church.
          .
          .
          I don’t think Folau’s got much of a future in the game (I don’t think he cares), but this really is a MASSIVE can of worms… And those who dismiss it all with, “Issy vilified gay people,” are failing to see the issues with their oversimplification of the situation.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          The “lack of targeting” has probably infuriated people even more. Being included along with thieves is not going to make anyone happy. Illustrates how different interpretations of “not targeting” can backfire. They really needed to take control of his accounts, and only post what they deemed acceptable. They would have probably ended up debating with him about what was acceptable only one or two times per year.

        • joy

          Lets be clear. Are you proposing that RA take control of Folau’s internet accounts and censure content before he posts it? Really?

        • Andrew Luscombe

          It could be, or might have been, an option. Not sure exactly what can be done in this regard.

          Having a review process is just standard practice for important content. Having trained people involved in its production is standard practice.

          Given the blow up last time and this time it’s surely beyond doubt that the contents of his instagram are/were important to RA. If they are sacking him because of it, it’s also an employment issue.

          Folau with a clean instagram is worth $1million per year according to RA. Without a clean instagram they’ll pay him to not play if they have to. The cost benefit of having a trained PR person review 2 posts per week is easily worth it.

        • Dylan Langes

          Thanks for the religious education, more enlightening than a Folau social media post! haha
          The Rugby Ruckus have done a good special on the IR side of the argument. But the bloke on the project did have some interesting thoughts

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes, maybe not as fervent but yes.

        • Hoss

          A kiwi conspiracy. I like where this is headed.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I agree. I wish he would go quietly but alas I smell a court case. And to be honest I think he will win it. Not out of any merit, but RA fuck everything they touch, so I assume it will be exactly the same with this.
        I too pray at the alter of Pocock!

    • Damo19

      BL, I reckon 3 things.
      1. We can argue religion, morality and Izzy’s beliefs on all of that till the holy cows come home. However this is all about breach of contract. From RA’s point of view it has to be about breach of contract. Basically none of us has seen the contract but it’s what RA are saying. They can’t possibly punt him just for his genuine beliefs. RA do have a choice in terms of how they deal with that breach- as do any 2 parties to a contract when a breach has occurred.
      2. The severity of RA’s dealings is all about Alan Joyce. RA has the arse out of their pants. The tut tutting of Cheika, Hooper, Kafer etc is part of a PR smokescreen.
      3. It is what it is and Izzy is gone. It will probably cost RA some kind of payout, particularly if it found some of the contract terms are unenforceable.
      It’s all pretty tawdry and not what rugby’s brand in this country needs this year. Silver lining? Well firstly, Folau is not the rugby messiah. Maybe now Cheika will be forced into developing a real game plan other than “get it to Izzy”. I’d be happy to see that.

      • RF

        If it requires a pay-out then they should just continue to pay him and give him the same treatment that they did with QC and KH by sending him to club rugby.

        Surely it is Folau’s interests to mutually agree to terminate the contract so he can code-hop.

        • Who?

          A few points:
          RA didn’t require that QC and KH play club rugby, they chose to do so.
          .
          Cheika and Gibson comply because they know that QANTAS funds them (even though QANTAS give less than Twiggy offered).
          .
          Folau can’t necessarily code-hop. Yesterday, we celebrated the retirement of recent speeding drink-driver Greg Inglis. Now, I don’t say that with intent to besmirch Inglis – he was a great footy player, and looks to be a genuinely good bloke. But convicted of a criminal offence. But those guys are saying they won’t register a player without criminal charges. NRL doesn’t want Folau, the RFU may not register his contract, there’s no clear path forward for Folau. So he may well be happy to sit at home collecting his cash, if RA decide to go that way. It’s not like he’s expected to have another contract beyond this 4 year contract.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Damo, 100% agree.
        I think this will get uglier before it gets better.

      • Who?

        Don’t disagree with most of what you say. However… Breach of contract. Castle’s said it wasn’t in his contract, it was a verbal agreement. Which, in spite of witnesses, makes it harder to enforce. Especially when, in spite of the extraordinarily editorialised reporting on this across the board (i.e. not having a dig at G&GR here, they’re far from the most predetermined in their reporting of the story), it’s not clear that Folau has been disrespectful (Castle’s phrase), let alone vilifying or bigoted as other sources have stated.
        .
        So I agree there’s a real chance that RA will have to pay out the contract – quite possibly all of it.
        .
        And that’s without going into the broader argument as to whether this decision, if pushed through the courts, then makes quoting of scripture illegal, which jeopardises the existence of religion in the country (which makes it a massively appealing to lawyers – who wouldn’t want to fight that sort of scale of case?!)….

        • onlinesideline

          in other words – PASS THE POPCORN

        • Brisneyland Local

          Fuck yeah. RA have the Reverse Midas touch! We know this is going to be appalling!

        • Damo19

          So, not in the contract. Sorry I missed that- thanks Who. Probably because the lawyers told them it couldn’t be enforced. Wow. Rugby Australia has an uncanny knack for attracting controversy.

    • RF

      The timing of this is particularly bad for the Waratahs, 10 days out from the curtain raiser of the Parramatta Stadium and losing the biggest name and biggest draw for the locals.

      • Brisneyland Local

        As a Rebels fan I couldnt be happier ;-)

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Dylan,
    What a great career Howill has had. Always respected him as a player and he certainly could teach some of the newbies about how to give your all on the field.

    Glad Pocock’s back and I hope he is fully recovered. I fully expect to see the Pooper back – with all its weaknesses, until Cheika moves on. Good for Canberra though as I think he’ll help them in SA.

    Always sad to see a player get injured and DMac will be missed a lot. He’s young though and he’ll be back. I think this will open the door for Luamape and Nonu with J. Barrel filling in for DMac. Be interesting to see it pan out.

    • Dylan Langes

      As I said KRL, for your mob its as simple as calling out Next. You did it in 2011 and you can do it again. Blokes line up to take that jersey and make the most of it.

  • Happyman

    Hi All looking forward to the weekends action with eh Rebels v the Tahs.
    I am calling it now the winner has the Wallabies ten.
    Tahs win it give MC enough ammunition to retain Foley.
    The Rebels win he does not have a leg to stand on. Still no certainty as he could go Genia 9, Cooper10 Foley at 12 Samu one wing with Meakes on the other and Beale at fullback AAC at 13 and

    • Brisneyland Local

      Yep the old Cheika selection Dart board once again!

    • RF

      Beale at fullback would be acceptable.

      • Brisneyland Local

        When he gets some form back. Not in his present form. He hasnt earnt it!

        • onlinesideline

          Thats a big IF. I personally think he is over it. You look at some of the younger Argies coming through, the speed of some of the Saffas. All I can see is Beale getting smoked badly for speed. I think Banks should be an absolute shoe in. Hes a FB through and through. We need a backline revolution BL. We are getting slow, others are getting faster. Maybe in Izzys absence the door has opened for this.

        • Brisneyland Local

          OLSL couldnt agree more. I would have selected Beale at all for the last 5 years because he is a disgrace off the field. But that aside. I would love to see, Banks, Hodge and DHP all get a decent shot at the position to earn it. I would take which ever one of those three that is in best form or best suits a game plan.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Absolutely OSLS. Banks, Meakes, Maddox, Petaia and a few others all need to be shown some encouragement rather than selecting the same players that have pulled the Wallabies down to 6 in the world ranking

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      AAC at 13! Really? I don’t think he’s done anything so far to say he should be part of the Wallaby setup for the RWC.

      • Brisneyland Local

        But then again neither has Beale or Foley! ;-)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Nope and the only one I’d consider out of all 3 is Foley as I’m not sure QC has stepped up enough to put out the incumbent (I would take the chance myself) and there’s no one else yet.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I reckon QC has certainly had a better year than Foley so far. Less missed tackles, high percentage kicking off the tee, more try assists than anyone in the whole SR competition. On those numbers alone, let alone what he brings in atack he is miles ahead of Foley!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I agree but I think Cheika will use last week as a reason not to select him, especially if he has any more like that

        • Brisneyland Local

          I just re-watched that game last night. Whilst the game was poor for the team, QC’s game other than a dropped pass was reasonable. Better in fact than most of his team mates. He set up to dead sets tries that were butchered by his team mates. One was that kick to the new full back / winger who dropped it. Heartbreaking. The other was a beautiful pass to Hodge who just threw it away on a no look pass. Arghh. He tackled well, committed to the ruck. He had a better game then genia, and most of the others rebels who were as a whole pretty shite. Next week will definitely be a litmus test. It will be interesting to see how much the Izzy shit has flustered the Tah’s! Sets up for a cracker though.

      • Happyman

        I forgot the irony emoji

        Obviously I was taking the piss. The trouble is people think that might get picked.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          With Cheika he just might mate

  • RF

    I will qualify this by saying that I agree with RA’s actions with Folau.

    If we indulge in more fashionable socio-political views (eg: Pocock) then it is difficult to handle situations like Folau’s.

    Also I think that RA made a big mistake attributing corporate views (oxymoron) to the playing staff when the likes of Folau didn’t agree. A year ago I would argue that Folau was entitled to his right of reply when views were attributed to him which he disagreed with.

    However, I do agree with RA’s stance in this instance.

    • joy

      In other words I believe in free speech as long as you agree with me.

      • Greg

        People have the right to express their views. I think Mr Folau is genuinely concerned for the types of people he named. Good on him for having the courage of his convictions.

        The RA question seems only to be, “are these views aligned with the values that we seek to promote and which we seek to have (one of?) our highest paid players promote”

        If the answer to this question is “no” then a change of job is recommended.
        If explicit agreements were made that have been breached then a forced change is likely.

        Mr Folau didn’t need to enter into those agreements. He made a decision to enter the agreements and to breach them.

        That is not a discussion about religion.

      • RF

        The opposite of my point :/ Genuinely puzzled by your conclusion..

        I agree with RA’s inclusive policies. I agree with Pocock’s position on pretty much everything. I disagree with Folau in regards to the current controversy.

        But the result of an organisation trying to be political is what we are facing now. Where many some participants don’t agree and make their counter opinions public. RA attributed opinions to Folau last year that didn’t represent his beliefs. He responded. And RA compounded it by suggesting he was apologetic in the aftermath, which he wasn’t.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    I think Robbie’s issue has always been that he hasn’t got a team setup for coaching at that level. We learnt with Henry that a complimentary coaching team is needed and the success we’ve had is more to do with the coaching team than either Henry or Hansen themselves.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Agree 100%. Robbie was pretty much left to do the job on his own.

      • Who?

        But he was also one who wanted to be left alone. Every strong voice, he removed. He sacked Michael Foley (who rebuilt our scrum after Twickers 2005 into the one from Return of Le Fuse at Twickers 08), and replaced him with Jim Williams, who was shuffled around roles consistently failing in each of them. He made Woody his attack coach. So I don’t think it was so much that he was left alone as he thought he knew better than everyone else. Whereas Ted realized that wasn’t that case (that no one is the font of all Rugby knowledge).

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Agreed and that came out when it was Henry and his team against Robbie for the AB job.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Very true. But a national team requires a coaching team, Robbie wasnt good at that part.

        • Who?

          Exactly…. Which is why he lost the ABs job (see KRL’s post), and why he’s not a top class coach. Which was my conclusion in 2009 (I gave him the benefit of the doubt), which made me furious that he was still coaching in 2013.

        • Brisneyland Local

          True.

  • Gottsy

    All the best Big Kev. Still an absolute travesty that he was overlooked for the 2015 WC squad, his form in the rugby championship was incredible. At least he finished up his intl. career on a high.
    Also, as Brisneyland Local said, sick of hearing about Izzy, we have enough problems in aus rugby this is the last thing we need

    • Brisneyland Local

      Gottsy, I am so looking forward to Easter, some time off work, time with Mrs BL and the little TiddlyPigs, and the Rebs vs the Tahs! I am hoping my beloved Rebs will come back hard, and the Tahs will be in disarray post the Izzy shit.
      Go the Rebs.

      • Gottsy

        Me too mate. All the best to you and the family over the long weekend, and up the Rebs!

        • Brisneyland Local

          You too old boy!

    • juswal

      Even now it’s hard to believe that Cheika preferred to take Douglas, Mumm, Simmons and Skelton.

      • Gottsy

        Even worse than that, when Skelton went down, he called up Sam Carter from France, while Kev was literally down the road at the Quins. Unforgivable.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Cheika loves what he loves.

  • onlinesideline

    Horwill was a good egg.

    I still remember people envisaging him, in gest, camping in the bush somewhere near Twickenham in 2015 waiting for the call up, dressed in fatiques, starring in to the camp fire with aussie flags hanging off the nearby tree, billy boiling, reading to go to battle. Top bloke.

    Re 1 x Mr Folua – THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY

    I was thinking overnight how the gay community are only too happy to disrespect and mock the church ad infinitum within their culture and also publicly.

    Lets take the Sydney Mardi Gras as 1 example – how many times have we seen the gay community mock Nuns, disrespect Nuns, Preists, ridiculing the church, the bible, by dressing in all sorts of Church related dress, posting signings mocking biblical concepts (all in light hearted fun)

    QUESTION What about the sincere young heterosexuals, who are battling with their idenity and their calling to start a life in the Church but are unsure, insecure and for some, tormented by feelings of shame or even guilt because the Church has been painted by the gay community as a path for delusional simpletons. How sensitive have the gay community been towards the potential suicides in young people grappling with their religious idenity ?

    They seem all good with public bigotry or implied bigotry but when the shoe is on the other foot.

    • juswal

      The sponsors wouldn’t wear that approach from RA.

      • onlinesideline

        well maybe it will take a court case that RA lose to remind them that instead of bending over for their sponsors so easily (so to speak), that in future their employees should be afforded some more basic rights.

        This is the crux of it.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          They’ll just have to pay him out if they lose. That’s the other way for them to legally end his contract, or leave him in purgatory like Quade.

          Folau will never play for the Wallabies again, nor I believe any super club, regardless of what happens.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      You’re seriously comparing mocking of the church to saying gay people will go to Hell?

      Personally, Folau’s words don’t impact me at all and my gay friends don’t give a shit either.

      But realistically, you have to see a difference between (1) mocking a superstitious, highly ritualised institution that has commanded extreme influence and control over people’s lives for 2,000 years based on a book it’s followrs think is the magical word of god; and (2) condemning gay people to an eternity in hell, especially given the number of gay Christians, especially children, that live in terror of eternal damnation due to their sexuality that they can’t choose. I’ve had gay Christian friends go through that.

      There is also a difference between making fun of the mainstream, and picking on minorities. For example, whether you think of it as dual standards or not I think poking fun at Christian stereotypes is more appropriate in Germany, Eastern Europe and Russia than it would be for those some countries to make fun of Jewish stereotypes, for historical reasons.

      • onlinesideline

        You telling me gay people dont know Chrisitianity’s view on homosexuality before Izzy’s comment ?

        Of course they know. What they dont like is having it rubbed in their faces. They don’t want to hear it. But just because they don’t want it hear it doesn’t detract from Izzys right to say what HE believes.

        Your view that its justified to be sensitive to the “hell awaits” but not to the
        “superstitious, highly ritualised institution that has commanded extreme influence and control over people’s lives for 2,000 years based on a book it’s followers think is the magical word of god” is hypocritical. It may be that to YOU but to some its real and highly personal.

        The Gay community want respect but fail to reciprocate and you seem to agree with that by your rather cynical and disrespectful take on the Church.

        Additionally your justification that making fun of mainstream Christianity is in based on a falsity that they are indeed mainstream. In Europe practising Christians are the minority. Is teh gay community as a minority protected but the Christian community in Europe open slather for “making fun” ?

        I would hardly call it making fun BTW. They can be out and out viscous.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          To say that there is a single ‘Christian’ view on homosexuality is ignorant in the extreme. Even within the Roman Catholic Church different popes habe different views. You have Christians like Folau on one end of the spectrum saying they’ll go to hell, and on the other Archbishop Desmond Tutu saying that being gay is totally fine in the eyes of god.

          Jesus also never mentioned homosexuality.

          And no, I didn’t say that plenty of gay people don’t know what the different Christian doctrines on being gay is. But if you’re a Christian kid worried about whether you’ll go to hell because you’re gay, and perhaps you worship Folau as your hero, and he says that, that could easily change minds.

          I’m not being hypocritical at all. Every single Christian knows that the Church is superstitious by definition, highly ritualised (ever attended Mass?), has commanded influence over the lives of people for 2,000 years based on the Bible, which is believed to represent the word of god.

          If you don’t know that Christians are a majority in Europe and homosexuals a minority then you don’t know anything. That “logic” is too absurd to even bother refuting.

          Free speech initially developed so that it was okay to question, make fun of and criticise the church. Still upset about life of Brian?

          How would you feel about bringing back blasphemy laws, or making it illegal to publish photos of Mohammed?

          Like it or not, the right to criticise religion is integral to free speech.

          Thankfully, Australia’s free speech laws means tha Folau was legally allowed to say what he said and will face no threat of persecution from the state and is protected from mob violence. If RAs contract breached his freedom of religious expression RA will be forced to pay him out.

          However, complaining that gay people are willing to ‘disrespect’ the church but won’t cop it themselves is absurd, especially given how most people in countries like Ireland, France and even Australia are Christians, and it is reasonable to assume many if not most gay people are also Christian.

    • Who?

      I should note here, whilst I’m aware that almost anyone and everyone seems to have it as a right to mock organized religion in all its forms as historical power structures and therefore consider them subject to all forms of satire (in spite of the fact that organized religions are now minorities, and minorities are supposedly meant to be protected), there’s been notable comment from people in the LGBTIQ community saying they don’t consider Folau’s post to be hate speech, merely misguided.
      .
      It seems to me that the majority of people making noise are doing so thinking they’re acting on behalf of the LGBTIQ community, whilst the LGBTIQ community doesn’t unanimously condemn Folau. Now, if people from that community wish to do so, that’s their call. They’re empowered enough to do that, it’s their right. But the majority of commentators seem to be speaking on behalf of people based on their assumptions of what those people might think. I’ve got no issue with defending people when it’s clear cut, but this isn’t necessarily as clear cut an attack ask many seem to think.

      • onlinesideline

        very well said Who. Its just another way of describing the tendency for people to instantly back the “supposed” offended and dumbing it all down to look good.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Most people are just saying that he’s too much of a financial and reputational liability for RA to carry given how this has blown up in the media and what Qantas has said?

          Also, plenty of gay people are also offended by it, while plenty, maybe even most, don’t care about his opinion.

        • Who?

          Agreed with most of this, though I still hate the concept of an entity that exists solely for the benefit of making profit to be moralising. I don’t want them telling us it’s not acceptable to be gay, or that it’s not acceptable to think that gay people won’t go to heaven. It’s not their place. Some would even argue it’s not their place to condemn drunkards (but they do that by not letting drunk people fly). :-P Even moreso when their own history – as in, the last 12 months – shows that they’re not morally pure in this area (having done a deal with Emirates and having a #MeToo moment with its cabin crew).

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Personally, I see the entire Emirates thing as a Red Herring. Even if Emirates = the UAE Government, companies legally have a responsibility to act in the interests of their shareholders. To maximise profits and benefits to their employees and shareholders they have to deal with foreign companies, many of whom come from countries they probably disagree with. There might be a semblance of a point if Emirates had a policy of no-homosexuals on their flights, but even then Australia continues to trade with so many countries that it disagrees with on fundamental issues, eg Australia supports equality and democracy but has sanctions against trade with virtually no countries.

          I don’t think they are saying it’s not acceptable to think that gay people aren’t going to heaven. Only that if you’re an employee of RA you have to act in such a way to maintain RAs and the sport’s reputation and financial health, and to promote an attitude of inclusivity.

          And to preempt someone making an idiotic comment about them doing this showing Christians aren’t welcome in the sport, don’t be a blithering idiot. It isn’t saying that at all. Christians are still welcome (Pocock and a whole swathe of other Wallabies), but just don’t espouse non-inclusive doctrines.

          I don’t think it would be good if they allowed extremist Muslims to espouse views in support of violent Jihad in the sport, but of course want the sport to be inclusive towards Muslims also.

        • Who?

          The Emirates thing would be a red herring if Joyce hadn’t made it a personal campaign through the company he fronts. I don’t see how having a non-position on things like gay marriage would’ve made any commercial difference to QANTAS. Just as having a position won’t have impacted it (because we buy airfares based on price and availability, not the company’s moral position). Because that became a morality campaign, it opened QANTAS up to the issue of moral hypocrisy.
          .
          QANTAS as a sponsor has put significant heat on RA to hold a moral standard, hence why it’s a question.
          .
          In terms of non-inclusive doctrines, I don’t see that RA should have any concern about it, but QANTAS – as a commercial entity that exists to make profit for its shareholders – should have even less concern.
          .
          Also, there’s a difference between advocating for violent bloodshed against those who don’t follow your religion and saying that people should follow your religion (even if it’s done in a terribly confrontational way). One is advocating for change or death, whilst the other is a real choice where those who don’t agree generally feel they have no threat for not changing. Violence is clearly non-inclusive, the other doesn’t in any way prevent a person from playing the sport. It’s like saying, “Only idiots go to Raiders games,” when you’re trying to get your gym buddy to come along to a Brumbies game. Not necessarily a great way to get them to come along, but certainly not preventing them from going to the gym with you.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Having no position on gay marriage wouldn’t have impacted the commercial prospects of the airline. But the fact is that it was something the board supported that they evidently thought wouldn’t negatively impact the airline’s finances.

          The partnerships with Emirates are due to them providing financial benefits to the company.

          Whereas providing sponsorship revenue to are Wallabies is not a financial benefit to Qantas.

          When you have the money, you can can afford to enforce your morals, but not when you require stuff from the other side.

          I never said there wasn’t a difference between the two. But someone would have to be really really ignorant or really really stupid not to notice that RA not acting after this tweet would likely have had an immense fallout on the sport in terms of sponsorship revenue, in terrms of its reputation in the media and also in terms of putting off gay kids, parents or even highly progressive people from joining the sport if a leading Wallaby, their pin up boy no less, was allowed to continue espousing these views.

          Some people are harkening back to the old days, but haven’t noticed how much emphasis is put on inclusivity and progressiveness by all sports in their attempts to compete for players and sponsorship.

        • Who?

          I agree that the deal with Emirates is about financial benefit to the shareholders. So it’s responsible in that regard. But if you’re going to claim moral high ground – as QANTAS has done – then you can’t be hypocritical about it. Which is what the deal with Emirates does to QANTAS. It turns them into moral hypocrites.
          .
          As a business, I believe that the Emirates deal is something QANTAS should be doing, but moral policing of society isn’t something they should do. Because it puts them in places where they can be shown to be hypocrites. There’s no value to them in being involved in that, there’s only potential damage for being known as hypocrites.
          The good thing for QANTAS is that they’re in a duopoly which means they’re almost never going to take a hit. They can offshore people’s jobs, lose hundreds of millions of shareholders’ money year after year, have a culture that allows sexual harassment of staff, and sooner or later they’ll make a big profit, because they’re considered too important to fail.
          .
          That being the case – that they’re above moral hazard – I don’t think they have any right to be moralising to the general public. Like Gerry Harvey, or Dick Smith, or anyone else who’s fronting a company.
          .
          Providing money to RA is a commercial decision for QANTAS. They get international publicity, they attach themselves to one of our nation’s truly national sporting teams, and it’s the code that traditionally was more aligned with those who’d use business class and above. That may no longer be true… But it’s the reason why there’s an arrangement. They choose to spend money for marketing.
          .
          They may decide that’s no longer valid, but to do it on moral grounds (especially when every other code has more widespread issues – we’re talking about one bloke here), that’s pretty hypocritical, when they’re not morally perfect, and have issues in the same field. That’s something that should be called out. Because when you’re the one with money, you can’t show your morals can be bought, and then demand that others hold higher moral standards than your own.
          .
          I’m not saying Folau should’ve posted (I’ve never said that). But QANTAS drew more attention to the post than would’ve been the case if they’d stayed silent. They’ve increased the problem, and at least partially because it suits them to do so.
          .
          What RA’s done, that’s one for the courts. I don’t think there’s any winners in this situation. But I have major issues with corporate entities behaving as if they should have any right to impact on our individual moral compasses and codes of ethics.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Even accepting that, should RA tell Qantas to get stuffed and take their sponsorship money and maintain Folau, thereby costing the sport millions, endangering its financial health, bringing a storm of media criticism and bad publicity and implying to gay people that they tolerate these sort of sentiments from their top players, in order to protect a guy who was warned previously for this same issue and promised never to do s again? Folau essentially spat in Castle’s face after promising not to do it again. She looks a fool for re-signing him (I wouldn’t have risked it if I was her).

          It sounds like people’s issues with more realistically with Qantas than RA.

        • Who?

          No argument on that last line. The issue (I’ve said it multiple times) is an entity that exists purely for the purpose of making money trying to tell individuals how to live moral lives. :-).
          .
          I’m not saying Folau should’ve posted……
          Oh, and RA tolerate much worse than those opinions from many players at all levels, because we’ve all got some form of insanity hiding inside us.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          But once Folau posted, are you seriously saying RA should have taken a different option than the one it did?

          Folau left them with no choice. I don’t think any of them were happy to see it turn out this way.

          Also, small clarification, Qantas isn’t saying how anyone should live their life. They’re simply saying they might choose not to give money to RA if it’s top athletes espouse views like Folau’s. It might seem trivial to you, but it is a crucial difference.

        • Who?

          I’m not saying what RA should’ve done, because I don’t have a better answer than what they’ve done, bearing in mind I think that it’s going to go through the courts.
          All I’m saying is that QANTAS – and all other corporations – have no need to moralize. They only made a tough situation (for RA, for everyone involved) harder than it needed to be (because RA could’ve dealt with this without the public pressure, and the LGBTIQ community wouldn’t have been as broadly exposed to it).
          .
          But I also don’t know that Folau saw it as an ultimatum. That he didn’t think he wasn’t breaching the non-contractual agreement or the code of conduct, because he didn’t single out a group, he spoke from a position he feels is love (and it may be, for him, but we don’t see his emotions). You can see he feels he spoke in love by his follow up interviews. Regardless of how other people interpret it.
          Let’s be honest, this is a bit like a collapsed scrum – supporters always think their team is in the right, and the ref has an awful job trying to work out the mess. But we’re sure that it’s black and white and the penalty should go our way.

        • Dud Roodt

          A couple of points in response to yours;
          – I don’t actually feel Qantas have overstepped the mark in their response. Their business’ name is on the jersey of the guy who is espousing views they totally disagree with. I think it is completely reasonable that they want to distance themselves from his comments.
          – They didn’t (as far as I’m aware) insist he be banned
          – They are, effectively, Israel’s employers, and they have a right to know that the huge sums of money they give to a team (that isn’t even performing well) means that the team at least attempts to reflect their aims for inclusiveness
          – Finally – as Qantas are the major sponsor, and therefore provide the majority of the money with which to pay each players’ salary – Israel has jeopardised every one of his teammates salaries by doing what he’s done

        • Who?

          But should a corporate entity, one that exists for profit (not to improve morality), be putting its nose into these areas? If they hadn’t taken positions on SSM, in spite of their name appearing on the jersey, I doubt anyone would’ve put together Folau – Wallabies – QANTAS – hang on, QANTAS believes gay people go to hell. They’ve placed themselves in an area where they should have no responsibility or authority.
          They responded online rather quickly in each circumstance. What was their response when players were involved in incidents with drugs? Or other forms of misbehaviour? I believe the answer is nothing. So, if they’re getting involved in only one morality area, but they ignore potential criminal issues, clearly they believe their moral stand in this area is more important than any other area that could equally bring their name into disrepute (because, let’s be honest, cocaine has a high roller image, which fits better with a brand like QANTAS than opposition to homosexuality).
          .
          I’m not saying Folau should’ve posted. I’m only saying that QANTAS – and all companies – should stick with what they do best. Charging us too much, running late, offshoring jobs, providing poor service and making a big profit every few years (after losing more than that in previous years).
          The concept of ‘corporate citizens’ is farcical, because citizens don’t exist to make money, they exist because they exist. They make money to exist, but we bail them out, give them welfare if required, and they create new citizens. Corporate citizens shouldn’t (generally) get bailed out, and don’t ever look to reproduce. They’re just methods of making more money than it’d be possible for a single business operator to make, and as such, shouldn’t be expected to have, nor should they have, moral authority, especially in areas outside their expertise. I don’t want Caltex telling me I drink too much, I don’t want Woolies telling me about my carbon footprint (as they wrap more fruit in plastic), I don’t want QANTAS telling me how to be inclusive.

        • Dud Roodt

          Whether companies should or shouldn’t have public stances on various issues is a bit of a moot point as all publically listed companies do.
          The minute RA signed on the dotted line to receive millions in funding to keep their game afloat they also signed on to having a significant shareholder partnership. Just as Israel Folau did when he signed his contract.
          I would say that Qantas’ reaction to this has been nothing more than any other sponsor of a sporting team that has reacted to a player’s indiscretion in other codes (many sponsors have dropped their sponsorship for teams in league when a player has done something morally or legally wrong – is that overreach by them?). The fact is, Qantas doesn’t have to sponsor the Wallabies. I would say they’ve questioned the ROI of that sponsorship for some time now, but they do have a right to know that their money is going to a source that at least attempts to uphold their publicly stated goals for inclusiveness. Remember that they’re not saying people can’t be christian, and they’re not saying people can’t THINK what Israel thinks, they’re just saying they would prefer that someone they (indirectly) pay doesn’t put that out to the world. Which in my opinion is completely fair enough.
          As a comparison, if you sponsored the Wallabies, and their star player, their most famous player, made continual comments about how Who was going to hell for who Who (this is getting confusing) was, would you (Who) want to keep paying said person? Who. That was just added for effect.
          Also, to your point about cocaine use by players, I can’t remember a player getting caught, let off with no punishment, then being caught again in the public eye. If there was, maybe Qantas would have said something, maybe not, but it’s a hypothetical.

        • Who?

          Would you who were who where you who went where… :-P
          A couple of statements over 12 months about something that may or may not happen to me personally if someone else’s beliefs are true… It might be annoying, but hey, I’m an infidel, I’m sure people out there think worse of me in real life.
          .
          I get where you’re coming from. I get that sponsors have left clubs for player misbehaviour (though that’s generally criminal misbehaviour – I can’t think of anyone dropping a club for allegations of poor morals or ethics. For instance, the TAC copping grief when an AFL club they sponsored had players done speeding and drink driving – but that’s their area, and I also question whether a government department should be sponsoring a sporting team), I get the ROI question (completely!), I get that this is something where they’ve staked their territory. I just don’t think they should…
          .
          In terms of cocaine use and other similar deals, the question is the timing of QANTAS involvement. They got involved in the Folau situation before RA had time to process it, both times. I can’t recall Beale copping any real punishment for his video with a bloke who was on cocaine this summer, I can’t recall any comment from QANTAS.
          .
          I’m just over the moralising. This is the first instance I can recall seeing a sponsor warn a player and an organisation, and over something that’s not being discussed as criminal behaviour. But we see it in almost every other area of day to day life. In Qld, we now have a container recycling scheme, so that a new private company can recycle cans that were going into the recycling anyway, and give us 10c for our good behaviour, incentivising us to do the right thing. Who cares that the cans are now 18c dearer each (so we’re actually paying 8c more after the refund), who cares that the recycling trucks are still driving around but we’re now also adding extra CO2 emissions by requiring us to go to a collection centre. It’s pointless moralising, that (in this case) achieves the opposite of what it’s supposed to do. And there’s regions where there’s none of these collection centres, yet the price of a carton’s still gone up $4.
          .
          It seems that, now, every other thing we do is either not morally sound, and we’ve got either government or private companies coming in to berate and/or punish us for that. I’m just over it. It’s like we’re children and we only understand sticks, not carrots. It’s bad enough that governments think we need a nanny state, but when entities that exist solely to make money off me start doing it…
          .
          That’s why I don’t have an issue with RA saying that it violates their code of conduct and Folau’s extra agreement (because Castle’s said it’s not in his contract, it’s an extra agreement). I think there’s scope to argue whether it’s what they’re claiming it is (based on Folau’s own statements – context is important), but that’s their problem (i.e. Folau and RA). It’s not QANTAS’ problem (or Bill ‘Look at me, the paragon of moral virtue (check his history, he has no character)’ Shorten, or Peter ‘I can spin anything to make it look way less scandalous than it actually is’ Beattie, the king of creating a crisis in order to solve it), they should leave it to RA rather than interjecting in the situation (Shorten and Beattie’s interjections are more understandable, they have press conferences, QANTAS doesn’t have daily election campaign press conferences).

        • Dud Roodt

          There’s a lot to process here, ha!

          I agree that the fact people like ScoMo and Shorten, and even more ridiculously Jacinda Ardern commented on it, is ridiculous. But I guess that’s a further reflection of journalism rather than themselves (as in, they were most likely asked about it, rather than bringing it up out of nowhere).
          I think there is a difference, however, in a random person, or entity (business) commenting on something they have no control over, and Qantas doesn’t fit that bill. They do have a stake in the game on account of them essentially propping the game up in this country.

          And we wouldn’t have a problem with them saying their opinion if Foley had come out and said all black people are going to hell, because we’ve come so much further down the line that that is totally unacceptable. Unfortunately we (in my opinion) haven’t come far enough in regards to homophobia, so there are people who don’t think it’s as important to defend homosexuals as it is to defend people on the basis of their skin colour.

          To be honest, it just really sucks we’re even talking about it. I (clearly) think his beliefs are a complete cluster fuck, but he’s a very talented footy player and that’s all we really should be talking about. I wish he hadn’t felt the need to post that. He could have posted something that talked about how loving his god is. Maybe that would have had a better effect rather than talking about how much a miserable prick he is.

        • Who?

          I agree QANTAS has a stake in the game, I just don’t think it’s helpful for them to go looking for an opportunity to express their corporate identity around it. I don’t think they should have a corporate identity about it, but even allowing for the fact they do (and you can see I don’t think any company should consider themselves human), their early intervention – finding opportunity to talk to the press (something they don’t always do) on the issue before allowing RA a chance to process is clearly unhelpful. The public lecturing is the issue.
          .
          I thought ScoMo’s answer on the subject was probably the best of those who were questioned, because he sought to focus on inclusion and leave it to RA to figure out. Not to prejudice the situation that was still fluid. Whereas Shorten (who’s always looking for a chance to prove himself as a moral leader, in spite of his history across multiple spheres) and Ardern (because Kiwis are always morally superior to us, it seems – especially in regards to anything related to Rugby) called things out and made life harder for RA. I can understand all of them commenting, as they have constant press conferences (which QANTAS doesn’t have), but their comments could have focused on tolerance and supporting RA rather than condemning a person for spreading hatred (they shifted onto the man, not the comment).
          .
          The concept of playing the man and not the ball actually fits well with Folau’s statement. Because I’d expect – expect – he doesn’t see sexuality as something that defines a person. That it’s a choice (regardless of the clear current medical position on the matter). So he’s likely thinking you can separate homosexuality from the homosexual, and he thinks he’s playing only the ball, where (most) others see them as inseparable and therefore see him as playing the man (as well as the ball). If that makes sense? So he’d think he’s not spreading hatred for people (and others completely, vehemently disagree with him).
          .
          I completely agree it’s terrible that it’s happened in Rugby. I think this sort of thing (culture war, etc) was always going to come up. It was inevitable. I just wish it’d happened elsewhere. I don’t think Folau thinks he’s doing anything wrong. I don’t think his motivation is hatred or homophobia. But I don’t think his statements were ever going to have the effect he clearly thought they would (i.e. changing people’s minds).

        • Dud Roodt

          I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on the Qantas side of things.

          Regarding your comment on Izzy thinking that it’s a choice, I think this is largely the problem for gay people. He puts someone’s sexuality on the same pane as those making deviant decisions and to live in sin. Again, I would say if he said the same thing about a race and the colour of their skin, EVERYONE would be up in arms about it (and rightfully so). But everyone should be up in arms about this too. He is separating a group of people out from the rest of society and saying “the way you were born is a sin and will forever be a sin, so don’t be who you are, or you will go to hell”.

          I think what it really shows is one of two things; either Izzy cares SO much about gay people (and drunks, adulterers etc) that he was willing to put his career and money on the line, or he’s incredibly dumb and couldn’t see how his actions of last year meant that the next time he did something similar, he would be out.

          I agree with you though, I genuinely don’t believe he did it because he’s a bad person, or because he hates anyone. I just wish he’d have shut the fuck up.

    • Dud Roodt

      Why are you comparing “the gay community” to an employee of a public (as in exposure) company?
      Maybe if a Wallaby came out and said they hated Christians, or all Christians are evil, that would be a good comparison. But as it stands, this is the case of an employee going against his employers wishes to show the world his bigotry which reflects very poorly on the employer and the sponsors who pay the employees salary?

      • onlinesideline

        RA is a corporation making a subjective call as to what is acceptable and not acceptable. Their “bigotry” claim is not shared by all, especially the Christian rugby fraternity or wider Christian world.

        They should not be muzzling their employee rights to express.

        They should not be the arbiters of what is acceptable or not in this area. Izzy was not promoting violence, he was expressing a religious worldview that x behavour has spiritual consequences for them. He never said he harbours hate nor suggested anyone should harbour hate.

        Whether you, RA, or anyone else disagree is irrelevant. Its about employees being able to express their worldview.

        • Dud Roodt

          But I think the thing being forgotten here is that, rightly or wrongly, RA do indeed have a say in what they consider to be bigotry and they do indeed have a right to terminate an employee’s contract based on contravening an agreed upon set of rules in a contract signed by both parties.

          If Israel had a problem with RA limiting his ability to “preach” his word, he should have done the honourable thing, and said “I don’t agree with that, I can’t sign the contract”. But he didn’t. He took the money, agreed to the terms of a new (massive) deal, and disregarded his employer’s previous, and continued, wishes.

          If I went to work one day with a shirt that said gay people were going to hell, I would be reprimanded for it, and likely fired. And that would be without the luxury of the 2 things Israel had going for him; 1) a pervious warning for doing similar behaviour and b) a contract stipulating he couldn’t do said thing. And also comes without the entire world knowing about it through social media.

          So yes, indeed, when it comes to their employees, RA are arbiters of what is acceptable or not in this area.

          And unfortunately, whether you, Izzy, or anyone else disagrees is irrelevant.

          For e.g. if Michael Hooper’s worldview was that black people are going to hell, and then he decided to tell the world about that view, he wouldn’t have a contract tomorrow, and no one would be defending his “right to free speech” (I put that in quotes as it’s the most ridiculous statement anyone can make in this scenario).

        • onlinesideline

          a contract is a contract and I agree on all you said and have from the beginning.

          The way I would respond to your second point re Hoopers hypothetical is that IS out and out bigotry based on skin color.
          What Izzy was referring to was behavours people choose have spiritual consequences. While I am not agreeing with his worldview there is a huge difference between what he said and your Hoopers black people hypothetical

        • Dud Roodt

          My argument when comparing the two would be that skin colour is considered something that you cannot choose, the general consensus is that a person’s sexuality is something they cannot choose.

          So in both scenarios, a person is being “damned” for things entirely out of control.

        • onlinesideline

          if Izzy didnt include Homosexuals in his list would you be OK with his meme ?

        • Dud Roodt

          In all honesty, yes I would be. I would still think he’s mental and verging on some sort of breakdown, but every “person” on that list, barring the gay person, is making a choice to be deviant in his eyes. So that must mean that he thinks homosexuality is a choice of deviancy.
          Another important thing to distinguish is that historically people who drink a lot, or adulterers, or people who worship false idols, don’t tend to kill themselves over society’s pressure and hatred.
          A lot of gay people already suffer mental health issues based around the acceptance of their sexuality, and a young gay kid who idolises Izzy seeing that might be enough to make that kid kill themselves.

          Personally I couldn’t care less about what Izzy or any church, or any of the thousands of gods think of me.

        • onlinesideline

          be honest – how man gay 11 year boys take their guidance from Izzy ?

          This arguement is weak to me. Its externalising the source of one’s decison making. To say that Izzys comment as a role model could be just the coment that pushed the kid over the line is ridulous. The shit the gay kid cops at school is a 1000 times worse isnt it. On that basis we could find so many things that people say that apparantely result in people suiciding.Where does the blame game end ?

        • Dud Roodt

          It is of course an extreme example. But what about the kid who decides that, on top of all the bullying he cops from kids, his idol now effectively says he’s evil for the feelings he has and decides not to come out. Or to self harm.

          It’s important not to diminish the effect someone as famous as Izzy can have on someone. It’s why athletes are asked not to do coke on the weekend, or bash their wife, and, in this instance, tell a portion of society that they think they are sinners for being themselves.

        • onlinesideline

          what about the person with suicidal ideation that read Izzys meme and thought – “shit maybe hes right” – time to change my path, change my ways. How can we also not assume this also takes place ? After all religion and conscience have (whether you agree or not) have been a motivating factor for large chunks of humanity to reflect on their behavour over the millenia. Why isnt Ralene Castle considering this positive sceneario as a result of Izzy meme ? Its because the era we live in is secular and its prudent as a coropration to go with the zeitgeist.

        • Dud Roodt

          Well if that was his intention, and well it might have been, perhaps he could have targeted sinners as a whole, rather than certain groups individually? Maybe then we could have thought how lovely he was rather than thinking he’s a raving lunatic who hates “the gays”?

        • onlinesideline

          lol – I think our exchange has come to a natural close. One reason being its 6.17 in the morning here and I havent had 1 seconds kip.
          cop ya later – ur a bad root mate (still takes 1st prize profil name)

        • Dud Roodt

          Ha well for what it’s worth, I’ve enjoyed it. Enjoy your sleep!
          And thanks! I thought on it for a good 20 seconds back in the day and thought it’s resemblance to me was uncanny

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Great thread you two and some interesting points. I don’t have the experience to comment on the laws so I won’t. My biggest fear in all this is that whatever happens it drags on and pulls rugby further down. I don’t think the sport needs that at all.

        • Dud Roodt

          I agree mate. All in all, I just feel pretty gutted that it’s happened. For all his flaws as a player, he was still a fucking good footy player, and exciting to watch when he was playing well. He could have gone down as one of the greats.

        • onlinesideline

          “the general consesus is”
          1 – does majority rule
          2 – I would question that

          Either way its irrelevant. Its about his right to express isnt it ?

        • Dud Roodt

          I should clarify (and I may be wrong), but the “generally” acceptable facts, by the medical, and scientific community, is that homosexuality is innate in certain animals. Just as heterosexuality is

        • onlinesideline

          C’mon – the scientific community is just as corrupt and bias as any other. It depends who you site. They are politically motivated, they are religiously motivated, they are finanancially motivated and often bought by big business

        • Dud Roodt

          OK, so what would “big business” have to gain by a CONSENSUS (this includes psychologists) concluding that they believe homosexuality to be innate and not a choice?

          I can tell you one thing, I would rather take my medical/scientific advice from, you know, dr’s and scientists and stuff, than a footballer who believes a book written 2000 years ago when the majority of the world was illiterate. I would say the scientific world of today is held to a slightly higher standard, wouldn’t you?

        • AllyOz

          A contract is a contract but a verbal agreement or an assurance which Castle now seems to be claiming it is I think opens things up- there may be a difference of opinion between what Israel thinks he agreed to and what Raelene thinks he agreed to. Did she say don’t specifically target gay people and so he thinks well I will just put a full list of sins up – be inclusive in a way – and he will be right (bit of a stretch but maybe).

          The other thing is what is definition of vilification and does this strictly fit the definition. The meme was essentially a bible quote, he also include a couple more bible quotes and then his own words were probably the more gracious of the whole tweet- he mentioned love and forgiveness.

        • Who?

          Dud, a couple of points.
          1. Castle’s said it was a verbal agreement. It’s not in his contract, it’s separate. So it’s questionable just how enforceable it is….
          2. The definition of what’s bigotry and what’s not isn’t necessarily solely RA’s to make. Neither is it the community’s decision. Folau obviously doesn’t think he’s bigoted in his statement, others disagree. The final decision will be with the courts.
          .
          In your shirt example, there’s a lot more to it than just your shirt (if you’re a miner, it’s under your high vis stuff and it’d dirty/dusty where you are, you’re probably not going to have any issues. If you work with the public and have uniform expectations, different story). Though I get where you’re going.
          But RA aren’t the arbiters of what’s acceptable. They don’t get the final say. That’s up to the courts, if Folau chooses to go there.

        • joy

          RA cannot negotiate away a inalienable human right. Free speech, subject to defamation laws, is the right that allows individuals to defend all their other inalienable human rights. RA has taken a flawed position on this issue and it will come back to bite them. Lets hope it’s not on the jugular.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          If that free speech was about all Jews, for example, going to hell, or that he didn’t like the way RA went about its business (neither of which are defamatory), I feel there wouldn’t be such an uproar. RA would be expected to act as it has done in this case.

        • Dud Roodt

          If you can show me the Australian law that dictates everyone’s right to freedom of speech, then I’ll be inclined to agree with you.

          This is, above all else, a contractual issue. Israel signed a new contract knowing full well that his employer did not want him targeting groups with his bigotry. He did that anyway. He should be sacked for it.

        • joy

          I’m really enjoying your posts.

    • AllyOz

      David Pococks latest non rugby Twitter post was support for the school student strike in support of action on climate change. I am not against school students protesting but I do have a problem with them doing it on a week day. I understand there are still laws against truancy as well. So David Tweet- largely ignored by RA (if not supported by them is actively encouraging school students to break truancy laws. It’s a second breech for David who chained himself to a dozer a couple of years ago before being rewarded with a flexible contract and who unlike Israel was freely able to put his position on the SSM debate because his view was consistent with that of the board. Is David taking into consideration the potential division he could create in the team by taking a strong personal view on this when others in the team might support Coal Seam Gas mining or lower power bills and regular hot showers?

      I know these are different issues and I don’t have a problem with David Pocock putting forward his public beliefs on Twitter but I think there is a real inconsistency in the treatment of Folaus less popular take on Christianity. And while we are on sponsorship SBW can be exempt from wearing a sponsors logo because of the connection to usuary and it’s ok but an Australian player isn’t allowed to express a religious view that isn’t consistent with RA or the major sponsor Quantas

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        How is there an inconsistency? Pocock didn’t bring the game into disrepute as there was no widespread media outrage and he also didn’t say anything that made the sport less inclusive, and he also didn’t have sponsors threatening to pull their funding.

        They’re literally the three reasons why Folau is being punished, and none of them apply to Pocock.

        • joy

          Didn’t Pocock trespass on a private property? Didn’t Pocock use his public profile in rugby to publicise his cause? Didn’t Pocock reoffend?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Has literally nothing to do with what I said….

        • AllyOz

          We don’t know if there is an energy company that was thinking of sponsoring but killed it because they didnt want to be associated with Pococks actions and, he was brought in to talk with RA at the time – it is just that his point of view is more likely to correspond with particular elements of the media that there wasn’t more of an issue raised the first time. And perhaps his opinions correspond more with yours and thats why you can’t see the similarities.

          Regardless of which you support there are simlarities because both are young men who play a team sport who made statements and took actions in the public sphere that were related to their own personal views and not necessarily the views of the whole team, they were both opposed or at odds with corporate entities (yes one was a sponsor of the Wallabies but Whitehaven Coal is a sponsor (or at least was) of the Gunnedah Rugby Union Club and some other local community sporting and community groups). They both made statements on Twitter at very similar times – within one week of each other on this occasion and both expressed their views on the SSM debate at similar times last year. One persons view on how to vote was supported by 60% of voters and the other by 40% – a minority but a considerable one.

          I don’t personally agree with many of Pocock’s political or social views but I don’t have a problem with him protesting – i do have a little bit of a problem with him encouraging school students to protest on a school day but would be happy if he joined them on a Saturday morning (though the cynical part of me suggests that

          Folau’s view is divisive and Pocock’s isnt? Climate change is a divisive issue, it might not be in your area but where I live it is and there is a federal election being fought where it is a major issue (SSM is not – at least not anymore).

          Your other point or reason I am guessing is that Folau breached the additional restraints put on him by RA – a breach of contract effectively although RA said he had the same contract as everyone else but there were “verbal and written agreements”. If Folau had restraints put on the expression of his personal views and Pocock didn’t then that raises a question for me as to why one is considered different to the other. Are the morals of the game and the values of the game dictated by those of the major sponsor?

          And yes there are some differences, in both cases Pocock did something that was against the law or encouraged others to do something against the law (truancy). Folau quoted words from the book that people, until perhaps just a decade ago, were required to swear on while giving evidence in a court of law.

          The other thing I feel some people are perhaps missing is what Folau himself actually said. He included someone else’s meme, three or four quotes from scripture and his own words raised God’s love and forgiveness.

          As to others who are spending Folau’s wages, there is an SMH article (i think its in the smh anyway) with 4-5 legal experts quoted as saying he may have a case – so a substantial amount could disappear in legal fees.

          Oh and the final point about SBW – you didn’t seem to want to address that one. Couldn’t we just let Israel run around in a plain gold jersey and those that wanted to wear a Qantas one wear it.

          Hey, maybe that’s an idea. Maybe we just go back to the days when we wore the plain gold jersey and didn’t worry whether someone’s personal opinion upset a sponsor.

          And just to be clear, I don’t think either player should be silenced. I would happily play with either of them, I have played with ex-seminary candidates, a couple of blokes who did some time in prison, a full range of Izzy’s list (drinking and fornication seemed to be the most favoured breaches) and so has he. He doesn’t have a problem playing with people who disagree with him and neither do I – and that makes him a lot more inclusive than the bulk of his detractors in the media and on social media.

        • onlinesideline

          so your letting the Mob decide what is disrepute and what isnt ?
          media outrage – we al know the main street media leans left. We are living in a secular age. You are trying to justify RAs actons based on the perpetually outraged – ridiculous

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          The definition of disrepute is: The state of being held in low esteem by the public.

          If ‘the mob’ doesn’t like it then that is literally the definition of disrepute.

        • onlinesideline

          Nope – being offended does not make it right

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Sorry, ‘nope’ is irrelevant in this sense. RA are punting him because he brought the sport into disrepute. I just demonstrated to you that the mob, by definition, decide what is in disrepute.

          RA are putting their and the sport’s reputation before an employee who gave his word not to post such divisive messages again, and who essentially spat in their face after doing so. If they hadn’t fired him they would face a storm of public criticism (by definition disrepute) and could threaten the financial health of the sport.

          What are you getting at? You think RA should risk the sport’s immediate and long term health to support a player who was given a second chance and then spat in their face?

        • onlinesideline

          what you seem to not get, is thatteh mob represent the left by in large. they are the most vociferous voices on social media and they dont repredent everyone. If you read my first post you will see that I said moving forward Corps should rethink this concept of having a inclusive of everyone policy because you cant please everyone. Thats what I wrote. You include the gay community you exlude the pro christian community. I said Izzy in this instance should go coz he knowingly did what eh did after a warning but your comments about Christianity being supersstitious and 2000 years old is irrelavant (Im not christian either) – why ? because its ur subjective personal view, others take the polar opposite view. This is about employees not being muzzled re basic rights and read about town on this issue and you will discover he is within his rights – https://lawandreligionaustralia.blog/2019/04/14/reflections-on-the-israel-folau-affair/

          Just because a demographic gets offended does not influence Izzy right to express.Being offended doesnt make it right. RAs code of conduct with respect to freedom of religion may be in error. We are about to see in next 2 weeks. Im out on this now Sherbert.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          So you think RA should risk the sport’s immediate and long term financial stability and reputation to support a player who was given a second chance then essentially spat in their face?

  • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

    James Horwill was a player who I always liked, admired and respected.

    Then our paths crossed a few times.

    I discovered that, yes, he’s a great player, but an even better bloke. Modest, unassuming, generous with his time, thoughtful, always deflecting praise onto team-mates, articulate and genuinely interested in others.

    I used to tell people that he’s kind of like an “anti-amigo”.

    He’s exactly the kind of elder statesman the national team (or his former state) should be bringing in to show what a true rugby culture can be.

  • theduke

    James Horwill – thank you. 2011 is what we rugby fans live for. You took the captaincy for a team that was in the wildnerness and, as a young bloke, grew up quick, pulled your head in regarding stupid f*ing penalties, to show leadership and character. As a rugby fan, you showed me the value of grit and tenacity. As reds fan, you gave me a memory I will never forget.

    Thank you and best wishes.

    #justiceforhorwill

  • Bernie Chan

    Big Kev…a fabulous career for the Reds, Wallabies and Quins. Epitomized the Reds in his 120 game….so passionate and took the fans along for the ride, the highs and the lows. Got better once he had a leadership role (jeez he was a penalty magnet in the early days..!)…As noted by Gottsy…it was nigh on unforgivable the way that Cheika treated him during RWC 2015….Douglas(!)/Mumm/Skelton/Carter are good enough to clean his boots…Guess that was the early indication that Cheika played favourites..no matter what!
    Pity about the injury to DMac…I know he plays for the Darkness, but a quality talent. Jeez we could use someone of his ability!
    Welcome back Poey…the Brumbies and Wallas are better with him on the field.
    Though not a rugby subject…glad to hear a politician come out and say Oz should contribute to re-building Notre Dame Cathedral. It is a structure of historical significance for France and the world at large.

  • Hoss

    Good afternoon and welcome to the clergy of Rugby.

    ‘And god said unto Israel, get the fuck out of Palestine and stop sticking it to sinners – ease up on the sermons, that’s my gig and instead work on your L2R passing and kicking. And besides, the role of imitating god on earth is taken, haven’t you seen Steve Hansen’s press conferences – i take notes – he’s actually quite convincing’.

    And then god tuned into Game of Thrones and god was pleased.

    I am over it – lets move on, well sort of. Been my experience in life that great adversity can enhance bonds and unify a group, give them a particularly singular focus, a steely edge – almost a tangible anger and hardness. Always opportunity in chaos. Cheik is clever enough to harness that, stop any fractures than maybe Izzy will actually contribute more by his actions off the field then he ever did on it – time will tell.

    I like what it could potentially mean for the Gold. A proper 15 (for me its Sauce). Two out and out finishers on the wing – i like Maddocks and Sefa and the flow-on could be players who defend in their channel’s. So i am dedicating myself to look at the upside of all of this and besides -why sweat the small stuff. i cant change it, influence it, so why waste emotional energy on it. GAGR is a broad church, all views are welcome – none of it will change / alter whats happened or yet to come so why worry about shit that wont kill you ?

    To this weeks adventures. All above applies to the Tah’s and i reckon they will play angry and man handle the team from little Athens – Tahs by 9. Good to see Poey back – long may he reign. Enjoy the next 6 months i dont reckon we will see him in Oz again after September – this man surely deserves to have ‘wrod champion’ forever whispered after his name – go hard Brian.

    Sorry to see D-Mac miss out. No athlete deserves that after years of prep – thankfully youth and ability are well on his side and i wish him well and a speedy recovery.

    Lets play some rugger and the rest, well, it can just piss right off.

    • Brisneyland Local

      I have got Rebs by 5. So we will agree to disagree.

      • Hoss

        We don’t have to disagree mate. i respect that you are wrong, but are free to be so.

        You see i do learn from all the posts here re free speech, constitution, the Amazing book of invisible friends and so much more.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah but my book of invisible friends says that your book of invisible friends are wrong and are heathens! ;-)

        • Hoss

          Sinner.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Allegedly!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahaha that’s gold. Great thread. I’m not sure the Tahs will use this to bind together. If Beale gets space in broken play he can be dangerous but he’s as bad as Folau in defence and with the geriatric at 13 and Hunt playing like Beale at 12 I’m pushing for Rebs by 13+

        • Brisneyland Local

          I do hope you are right old boy!

    • joy

      You call for a rest after stirring the pot again? Come now.

      • Hoss

        Riddle me this Joy – what use a pot if not for stirring ?

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      What is interesting is the way so many high profile players and others have jumped on the “smash Izzy” bandwagon. I just read Phipps bit on the other site. Maybe the guy isn’t as popular as we’ve been led to believe mate.
      I agree he won’t be missed that much, 4 bad things for every good thing he did on the field. You’ve got to ask who the fuck agreed to his contract. I can’t see it but imagine a backline of
      9 Genia
      10 Cooper
      11 Maddox
      12 Kerevi
      13 Petaia/Keridrani
      14 Sefa
      15 DHP

      • Who?

        That’d be a nice backline. Shame it doesn’t have a good coach… :-(
        .
        So we’re now taking moral dictation from the Bovine Sprinkler? :-P
        To be fair to Phipps, I don’t see his statement as ‘smashing’ Folau, I read it as thankfulness that RA has tried to deal with something that’s making him uncomfortable (he doesn’t talk about having Folau around or not around, he talks about having press around).
        .
        I can’t see how anyone could think it’s a good idea to get out and ‘smash’ Folau. What’s that say about the culture in the team? Pocock’s response last time was the correct approach (i.e. he answered, when asked, that it’s fine to disagree, they’d have a chat, but it wouldn’t affect their relationship, even though they clearly saw things differently. No attempt to talk Israel down).
        .
        Must be tough for John Folau. Phipps said:

        “You can go around and have a laugh with him, have a joke, just let him know it’s not awkward, it’s no reflection on him,” Phipps said.
        “He’s also a very passionate Christian man and we fully respect that, but for him we just want him to feel comfortable in his place at work.”

        That can’t be easy when you’ve just sacked his brother for airing beliefs that John could easily share, given it turns out that Israel’s pastor is also his father. :-

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I admit it’s a hard position for them all, especially after their employer came down so hard but I do think they’re all jumping on the band wagon a bit. Pocock has been the best as far as I can see. Disagrees but still able to remain friends. That’s a mature response

      • Adrian

        Close to mine KRL

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          What changes would you make

      • Hoss

        Just back from gym mate. Down to a svelte 132.5. Events of the last week made me realise my body is a temple – currently more Notre Dame – actually Angkor Wat, than St Paul’s, but restoration works are under way.

        I like that team, I like it a lot. Like the combos all through. Rebs halves, fullback and wing reds centres and wing (I like JP for 13). Gilbert, Hodge, Two cows, Nic White as possible pine riders.

        Salvation is at hand.

    • Mitch Leach

      Hoss, great post! Set up a blog. I would read you daily.

  • Sam

    Has anyone else noticed that -Pocock doesn’t play – Brumbies win , he plays – they don’t. Have the Brumbies won a game with Pocock this year? Now I know correlation doesn’t equal causation but something weird is going on!

    • joy

      Aging?

    • GeorgiaSatellite

      He wasn’t playing in quite a few that they lost. The ones he has played in, he’s come off early through injury/HIA.

  • Yowie

    “But in Ezekiel, chapter 33, verse 11, it says…”

    Not even the coolest bit of Ezekiel to quote at people.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvAhRcUofDk

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Love that scene. Top movie

  • Dylan Langes

    I am as sick as the next bloke when it comes to all this Folau stuff but I have a job to do covering rugby news.

    I will say this though, for all of you who want/ need to hear more about the impact of Izzys post, and to better understand the difference between sharing religious views and sharing hate go an listen to the Rugby Ruckus podcast with Dave Oliver, an openly gay player and coach and the impact that having to hide his sexuality had on him. And why Izzy’s words are in fact dangerous. And not just about sexuality but other cultural issues that people sometimes neglect.
    In the second part of the podcast the talk to an Employment Law specialist who explains some of the legality around the issue at hand. Might be a good listen for some.
    I want this to go away and I am proud that Rugby Australia have taken a stand against this.
    No one is saying Folau can’t be a christian, but there’s a difference between having your views and using your platform to tell the world they are going to hell.
    Did the members of GAGR know that Locky McCaffrey ran as a member for DLP back in 2013? That’s a party that is very open regarding anti abortion. You want to know the difference between that situation and Folau’s? Locky McCaffrey isn’t on social media calling all women who get abortions sluts and condemning them to hell.

    PS Im not saying that’s how McCaffrey feels, merely making an observation based on the values of the party he was a member of.

    Now lets get on and talk about Rugby.

  • Adrian

    God I’m over this.

    Anyone, anywhere who thinks that it is ok to demonise minorities, let your teammates down, suck money wherever he can, be totally self centred and ignorant and break his word repeatedly.

    I don’t care if it is dressed up as religion or what, its disgusting

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Bang on mate

Rugby
@DylanGLanges

Once captained the 3rds Rugby team, but then again so did Nick Farr-Jones

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