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Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News looks at the decision from Israel Folau’s code of conduct hearing, the emotional and physical toll of Quade Cooper’s return, the Brumbies unfazed about criticism of their play and the Junior Wallabies name their squad for the Under 20’s World Championship.


Folau found guilty

Israel Folau

Israel Folau

Israel Folau has been found guilty of a breach of his contract with Rugby Australia.

The outcome was reached by an independent panel at the conclusion of an intense 3-day code of conduct hearing, which determined that Folau’s social media post constituted a “high level” breach of his contract.

Folau’s legal team had argued that the homophobic social media posts were not his own words, rather Biblical scripture, along with claims that his player contract did not include specific clauses about what he could and could not post on social media.

The response from Rugby Australia argued that the posts gave them no other option given the vilification caused to the gay community and the damage that had been done to the sport financially along with its reputation.

The independent panel of John West QC, Kate Eastman SC, and John Boultbee AM ultimately decided that Folau had breached Rugby Australia’s Professional Players’ Code of Conduct at the highest level.

“The Code of Conduct hearing in the matter of Israel Folau has concluded in Sydney today,” said Rugby Australia during their media release late Tuesday afternoon.

“The panel today has today provided judgement that Israel Folau committed a high-level breach of the Professional Players Code of Conduct with his social media posts on April 10, 2019”.

The decision to label the breach as “high level” ensures that Rugby Australia can still proceed with their initial decision to terminate Folau’s contract, as any lower grading would not have provided them with the authoritative power to do so.

The punishment for Folau will not be handed down for several days, with Rugby Australia not providing an indication of a time period surrounding a decision.

However, it is expected that Folau will look to challenge the verdict and any punishment that is handed down, pleading for leniency on the issue and looking to get it downgraded to a fine or suspension.

Cooper cooked by return

Quade Cooper passes watched by Matt Philip Luke Jones Waratahs v Rebels 2019 (Credit Keith McInnes)

Rebels playmaker Quade Cooper has admitted that his return to Super Rugby had taken a physical and mental toll on the flyhalf early in the season.

Cooper returned from the Queensland wilderness at the start of the year and his early form brought fans back to memories of his play during the early 2010s, leading the side to 5 wins in their first 7 matches.

However, the Rebels and Cooper have crashed back to earth losing their last three games, with Cooper revealing that the added physicality of Super Rugby had left his body and mind wrecked before their second bye a fornight ago.

“I was feeling it – my body was pretty wrecked and mentally I was pretty fried,” Cooper said on Tuesday. “Coming off a club footy season into eight straight games – the physicality and the intensity each week was a big step up.”

“That bye was great to have for all of us, but more for me – I feel very much refreshed.”

Cooper is preparing to face his old team in the Reds for the second time on Friday, a team that he gained some levels of revenge against earlier in the season when the Rebels went up to Queensland and beat them in round 7.

Despite the emotions that were free-flowing during the build-up in the first encounter, Cooper was focused on simply getting the job done for the all-important win in the tight Australian conference.

He believed that the fortitude showed during their second-half comeback, in which they turned around a 26-0 half time deficit to record a 29-19 loss, had set them up for a strong finish to the season, starting with victory on Friday.

“It was a difficult game and we’re very hard on ourselves so we’ve approached training this week as anyone probably would and have busted our backsides,” he said. “I always am hard on myself and I’ll do what I can to put in a good performance for the team, as it’s a big game for us.”

Brumbies unfazed by criticism

Christian Lealiifano settles the Brumbies

Christian Lealiifano settles the Brumbies


The Brumbies are refusing to change their style of play amid a wave of criticism, drawing inspiration from Limp Bizkit to keep rollin’, rollin’ rollin’.

The side created plenty of discussion surrounding their forward-heavy style of play, which centres around the rolling maul, which has been crucial to the side’s success and Folau Faingaa’s position at the top of the try scorer list.

The criticism has primarily come from former lock Justin Harrison who labelled their style as “pedestrian”, a claim which was sensationally shut down by assistant coach Laurie Fisher.

Winger Toni Pulu doubled down on the sentiment shared by Fisher, stating that the outside backs were unfazed about the forwards nabbing up all the tries.

“I don’t mind how we score and I love it when the forwards score,” Pulu said. “It’s hard to even get one maul try these days but that’s our strength this year and the backs are happy with our forwards, they’re world-class players.”

“We’re just happy to win, it doesn’t matter how we do it…as long as we end up scoring we’re happy and we’ll just ignore the haters.”

Likewise, the forwards had no qualms about stealing the shine from the outside backs, with Lock Murray Douglas noting the importance of ignoring the critics and sticking to their strengths.

“We go in every week with a game plan and teams have to play to their strengths and the maul has been a strength of ours,” Douglas said.

“I wouldn’t say it’s boring rugby, it’s playing to your strengths and analysing opposition and seeing where you can score your points.”

Douglas has been an unsung hero for the club along with the likes of Darcy Swain and Blake Enever, who have stood up in the absence of David Pocock, Lochy McCaffrey, Rob Valetini.

Their depth is set to be tested further with the newsest member of injury club Rory Arnold, who is doubtful for the side’s upcoming clash with the Sunwolves.

“Rory’s a big player for this team, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. “So, I think we’re really confident in the playing group that if people do get injured the next guy will step up and really stake his claim.”

Junior Wallabies Sqaud named

Junior Wallabies are 2019 Oceania U20 Champions

Junior Wallabies are 2019 Oceania U20 Champions

The Junior Wallabies have named a 28-man squad for the World Under 20 championships that are set to depart for Argentina at the end of the month.

One of the big (literally) inclusions in the squad that were successful in winning the Oceania Under 20’s Championships is Nick Frost, who has recently come back to Australian Rugby and the Brumbies after a stint in the Crusaders development system.

Coach Jason Gilmore noted that it was a difficult decision to include Frost in the squad, given their recent success and the fact he had not taken any part in their preliminary camps.

“Nick played Australian Schoolboys and has come through the pathway and then went over to New Zealand for 12 months and the Brumbies have just re-signed him so he’s become available for selection for us but that was a tough decision for us because we’ve got a pretty settled squad,” Gilmore said.

Queensland front-rower Rhys Van Nek was also added to the squad despite not featuring in the recent U20 championships, as Gilmore looks to add reinforcement at the tighthead prop position.

“Rhys has been to all of our camps and it’s only Oceania that he just missed out on and he’s been working hard at the Reds Academy as well, so he’s a player already in the system and we’ve been watching him really closely,” Gilmore said.

Unfortunately, seven players that took part in the Oceania campaign were cut from the final squad, which include Queenslanders Egan Siggs, Tom Kibble, Byron Ralston and Liam Usher and NSW representatives Max Douglas, Oliver Barden and Nathan Lawson.

The squad is as followed: Triston Reilly (7s, wing); Noah Lolesio (ACT, centre), Lachlan Lonergan (ACT, hooker), Nick Frost (ACT, lock); Angus Bell (NSW, prop), Darcy Breen (NSW, prop), Ben Donaldson (NSW, fullback), Will Harris (NSW, No. 8), Will Harrison (NSW, flyhalf), Mark Nawaqanitawase (NSW, wing), Henry Robertson (NSW, scrumhalf), Pat Tafa (NSW, No. 8), Joey Walton (NSW, centre), Bo Abra (NSW, prop); Rhys Van Nek (QLD, prop/hooker), Joe Cotton (QLD, hooker), Fraser McReight (QLD, backrow), Josh Nasser (QLD, prop), Kye Oates (QLD, centre), Harry Wilson (QLD, backrow), Michael Wood (QLD, backrow), Isaac Lucas (QLD, flyhalf), Esei Ha’angana (VIC, lock), Trevor Hosea (VIC, lock), Sione Tui (VIC, wing), Semisi Tupou (VIC, centre); Michael McDonald (WA, scrumhalf), Carlo Tizzano (WA, flanker).

  • Greg

    Nathan, Thanks for the early news for Wednesday.

    Whether ones view is that Mr Folau has done he wrong thing, or that his religious expression is being unreasonably constrained, it is hard to see that any workable relationship can exist between him and his employer at this stage.

    Surely he must depart and it is only the details of the parting that remain to be resolved.

  • Huw Tindall

    Saw some interesting chat on how best to punish Izzy for breach with people suggesting he should do his time in clubland or at training clinics and the like. Is he such a pariah of the game that he is best never seen or heard of again? He’ll still be a drawcard no matter what people believe about his instagram shite. Imagine Folau turning out for the Two Blues or something. I think his actions, whilst potentially harmful and insensitive, fall short of vilification and there could be many worse breaches of the code of conduct including actual criminal offences. Can we rescue something from this situation? I’m not sure yet but this line of thinking is something new to consider.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      No, I don’t think so.

      I feel like this was always driven by:

      1. Risks of sponsors leaving;

      2. Risks of RA being opened up to criticism and rugby being thrown into disrepute for not punishing him harshly enough;

      3. The fact that RA cannot trust that he will not do it again, and they probably feel betrayed after all the discussions when he did it last year;

      4. Potential for some/many progressive parents not to let their kids play rugby if it is perceived as not fully inclusive.

      None of these issues have abated.

      Add to that, Folau is a 30 year old outside back. His contract was worth so much not for his rugby ability, but for his marketability. That isn’t the same as what it was before now.

      At this point, I think he’s done. He does have my empathy and compassion though, I imagine he’s suffering a lot right now. It’s very sad.

      • Huw Tindall

        Good points there mate and I think you’re probably right but I want to find some redemption here.

        If the fan feedback is anything to go buy RA will alienate a good deal of people either way they go. If player conduct was actually that big a deal the NRL would have no sponsors so I’m not sold on that one completely. With Izzy out of the spotlight he won’t harm a brand anyway. Wallabies are a valuable international brand still so even without QANATS I think they could get a sponsor. How about Emirates for a laugh :)

        Also, would a 50% paycut/fine and one year ban not be harsh enough? Better than going to court and RA losing millions in legal fees and potentially more which they very well could. Ultimately the punishment must fit the crime and there are no harsher punishments than contract termination. If this is the benchmark then I’d say Beale and Hunt and even Slipper should not be in the game. They actually committed crimes unlike Folau who has breached a voluntary code of conduct as part of an employment contract.

        • IIPA

          You and DBTB both make some very good points. Agree with DBTB that his contract was inflated due to his marketability and now he’s basically shit the bed in that regard.

          I saw a situation where he continued to play for the Tahs but he’s done in terms of the Wallabies however really looks like RA are going for all or nothing with this.

        • Geoffro

          Though I applaud your reasonable approach I cant see Izzy being involved at any level unless he makes some sort of retraction/apology which isn’t going to happen.I believe his time in rugby in Australia is finished.He may still have time to become the greatest player to have ever worn a Tongan shirt

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Can’t play for Tonga now as he’s played for Australia. Stupid rule and one I think should change but it’s there

        • Geoffro

          Is that law set in stone KRL ? I do recall dual nationality internationals though not the circumstances or whether governing laws have been amended.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think it is because so many players are complaining about it. Personally I think changing it to allow players to go back if the country they played for doesn’t want them would be the best way to show support to these countries. But World Rugby still have their head up their arse over this

        • Geoffro

          When did they change the rule though ? Topo Rodriguez and Tiaan Strauss were both full internationals for their homelands before going on to represent the Wallas.Can’t see Izzy becoming a resident of Tonga I s’pose.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          It changed quite a long time ago – maybe in the late 1990s.

        • Dud Roodt

          I think Toby Faletau’s old man was one of the last to play for 2 countries. He played for Wales in the ’99 RWC I believe

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think its the level they play at that determines it. Not sure on the details though

        • HK Red

          If he plays no test matches for three years (which is now a given), he can play 7s for Tonga at the Olympics by playing four Olympic qualifying events. Just read a long, confusing piece on eligibility.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate I think you’re right. In some ways RA can argue that as a bigger star than those other 3 the effect of his actions is higher. I think a ban for the remainder of 2019 is appropriate as it will have a big effect. Miss RWC and probably not go to another as with his age and lack of improvement he is unlikely to be around. It also means most of those team mates coming out against him won’t be around so less disharmony in the team when he comes back.
          I’d also fine him as well to try and make him realise how dumb he’s been

        • Dud Roodt

          Unfortunately, and as much as it pains me to say it, the NRL is a much more attractive option to sponsors than rugby.
          Australian rugby teams are finding it increasingly hard to find jersey sponsors.

          As to the punishment – I think Geoffro is right, nothing short of retraction/apology will change this situation

        • Brumby Runner

          I have so far refrained from making any comment about this matter, and without coming down on either side of the argument, I would dispute that the Code of Conduct is voluntary Huw.

        • Huw Tindall

          Voluntary as in he didn’t have to sign the contract. Not like criminal law which are not voluntary to follow!

        • Adam Landis

          Players who are done for drug possession are hurting themselves (if anyone) whereas Folau’s words are potentially harmful to vulnerable, marginalised children struggling to define their sexuality and place in society – the appropriate response to these actions shouldn’t be the same at all.

        • AllyOz

          I think you could argue that role models using drugs could potentially encourage drug use and that bad behaviour generally could lead people to remove children from the game so I don’t think it’s that clear cut.

        • Adam Landis

          Fair enough, but the kids who idolise those players don’t see them blast on social media that people who don’t take drugs will go to hell…

        • AllyOz

          What I am saying is that there is more than just one reason why sponsors pull money or parents pull their kids out of rugby – social media posts are one (I almost left rugby after one of JOC’s posts about his latest haircut a few years ago) but a range of bad behaviours from assaulting quokkas in WA to drunken fights at airports to drug use are all legitimate reasons for people to reconsider their support. I can live with Israel’s actions a lot easier than I can with KB sharing a pornographic picture of an obese woman and linking it to one of the members of the teams support staff for instance. $45k fine and a few weeks ban (including some weeks he had already missed through injury from memory). It’s also very anti the team set up but that didn’t seem to be a problem for Michael Cheika then. He didn’t say a person who undermines the support staff and seeks to humiliate them has no place in a team but he has no place for someone who he sees as divisive for expressing his opinion on a particular view about his own belief.

        • Adam Landis

          KB and the drug offenders showed remorse and said they wouldn’t do it again whereas Folau has now done it twice and has refused to take it down and stated that he will make similar statements again, despite seeing the hurt it causes – you can’t allow someone like that a platform.

        • AllyOz

          because he doesn’t believe he has done wrong and neither do i believe he has either. Israel holds a legitimate view. One people have held for at least 2000 years. Just because some people have changed their minds in the last 50 years does mean he or the rest of us have to.

          People need to be able to hold a position and other people able to disagree with it without being hurt. Your generation need to toughen up a bit and develop some resilience and not cry victim every time someone calls you a name. You are going to need it.

        • Adam Landis

          For thousands of years people legitimately held the view that Earth was flat and / or the centre of the universe, time has proven them wrong and the lesson there should be to have some compassion – which ironically was the lesson that was supposed to have been the 2,000 year old truth you hold dear; prior to that homosexuality was mentioned in the same regard as mixing cotton and wool clothing, walking in fields numbering seven or eating pork.

          As a society, we ought to be able to better ourselves to be more inclusive and at least respect the changes that should be made as our understanding grows (such as realising that homosexuality isn’t a choice any more than being left-handed is), if people of faith insist it is their right to be intolerant and use religeon as a shield from responsibility for their words then we as a society will be forced to marginalise the institutions of religeon.

        • AllyOz

          Thanks for the biblical explanation. However, the bible doesn’t teach the world is flat. There is a better explanation at the link attached than I could give.

          https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/earth/does-bible-teach-earth-flat/

          Yes homosexuality is mentioned in Deuteronomy and Leviticus, many of these strictures were extremely important in terms of managing health and infections in the early Jewish community. Some might not make sense to us now but we don’t have the benefit of living in that environment at that time and fully understanding what was involved. But it is also mentioned indirectly in the Gospel readings (Jesus teachings around marriage) and directly in the letters of Paul.

          Science is yet to discover a gay gene. They suspect they may have identified some that contribute but nature and environment play a part.

          “No, says Sanders, because many other factors play a role, including the environment. “There are probably multiple genes involved, each with a fairly low effect,” he says. “There will be men who have the form of gene that increases the chance of being gay, but they won’t be gay.”
          https://www.newscientist.com/article/2155810-what-do-the-new-gay-genes-tell-us-about-sexual-orientation/

          Modern sexual theory also teaches that gender is fluid, how can it be fluid but be fixed from birth. There is a B in the list of initials as well – so that would suggest that a person is fixed to have both sexual orientations at birth by that logic and that would involve a choice or a capacity to choose.

          In terms of tolerance, being tolerant is different to accepting everything that someone believes. I know gay people, some that I would consider friends, but I don’t agree with their lifestyles. I don’t expect them, or expect you, to agree with me but I am happy to explain my position if they ask and I am happy to listen to them express their view. I have played rugby with and coached people who are same sex attracted, again I did not exclude them or look to exclude them on that basis – again i didnt agree with that particular choice that they made but it is their choice to make (and my choice to have a different view). This is the same view as Israel has expressed. He has never excluded or does he seek to exclude anyone from playing rugby because of this.

          I don’t expect David Pocock to shut up because he supports gay marriage, nor do I expect Israel Folau to shut up because he doesn’t. You seem to support tolerance as long as the people only express opinions that agree with your own, otherwise “shut up and go away, you deserve to be marginalised”.

          Israel Folau expressed it better than I could in his players voice article. https://www.playersvoice.com.au/israel-folau-im-a-sinner-too/

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I agree. I think any marketability he had is gone and without that he hasn’t actually got that much to offer.

        This won’t be popular but I love seeing him in the team at 15 against us. Yeah he’s dangerous at times and does 3 or 4 good things but his deficiencies mean we can cover those good things and exploit more with all the bad he does and these far outweigh the odd good

        • Custard Taht

          The wallabies will (should) be a better team without folau. Great athlete but limited skillset and poor work rate.

          The caveat on this is that Cheika will pick Beale at 15, so the net gain will be zero.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Beale’s form is improving a bit, and makes it easier to pick Kerevi and TK in the centres, but I broadly agree with you…

        • Custard Taht

          The 15 dilemma would much easier to solve if the players in contention showed some consistency in their form. As it stands no one has really stepped up, but as you say, beale is starting to make a case.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Hodge has played well there, but Cheika wants a second playmaker. Either it’s Toomu at 12, which pushes Kerevi to 13, or Beale at fullback.

        • Custard Taht

          Hodge and his boot would be good!

          Yep what you say is pretty much the case.

        • Huw Tindall

          Toomua v Kerevi should be a really interesting selection case. I’m firmly against playing out of position unless the player is a freak world class bloke or you are forced through injury and next best player in a position really isn’t up test level. For that reason I couldn’t have both Toomua and Kerevi in the team even with Kerevi at 13. For mine he doesn’t have enough time in the position and TK and even AAC come with invaluable experience. At this stage I’d roll with Kerevi at 12 as he can do things few others in the team can and will really help with gainline which has been an issue for the Wallabies these last few seasons. Toomua more conservative choice I guess as has a wider skill set. Hopefully he makes a case the last few rounds with the Rebels and Chek and panel have to really think long and hard on this one.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I reckon Ashley-Cooper is shithouse. Was a decent 13 in his prime, but never great, and now he is well off the pace.

          Kerevi is our best centre, TK is our best 13 and Toomua is our best 12 for the way Cheika wants to play.

          Difficult decisions.

        • Huw Tindall

          Agree AAC is past his prime (not shithouse yet though!) but the main problem with 13 is lack of depth. We saw that last year. Nobody is really knocking the door down. CFS may have potential but hasn’t got enough runs on the board. English is in journeyman territory unfortunately. So that leaves AAC as last man standing!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          He’s a good attacking player but he’s a hog and jeez he had a lot of weaknesses.

          For a long time I’ve also felt like he also made the team’s entire attack worse, as Cheika just kept to a lazy, predictable game plan of ‘give it to Izzy’. Now we will be forced to be more dynamic in attack, as well as having back three players that can pass and kick consistently.

      • Dud Roodt

        I agree with you. Sad situation all around but his position is now untenable.
        He should do what he said he would do and walk away. And we can all be left to rue some stupid social media post

    • Keith Butler

      The likes of Hunt and Slipper committed criminal offences and got off lightly as did Beale and Phipps. RA really stuffed up there. Whilst I totally disagree with Folau’s views he has breached his contract. A fine and a ban for the rest of the season, including the RWC, would be a reasonable punishment. Maybe RA should follow the AFL line where a player is offered say a one match ban and if they appeal and lose this is increased.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Excuse me? Neither Hunt nor Slipper were found guilty in any criminal action last year.

        How many times does this need to be said – sponsorship revenue is threatened. RA cares about its financial sustainability more than Folau, Folau has hurt his marketability, RA is not well disposed to Folau and RA risks bringing a storm of criticism on the sport and being seen as intolerant if it doesn’t act harshly. No matter how many times you try and obfuscate and ignore this, it is the only reality that counts.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          “seen as intolerant if it doesn’t act harshly”

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Seems hypocritical of RA, and maybe it is, but tolerance has never meant accepting all views as equally legitimate in society.

          If someone was expressing pro-Nazi or pro-Apartheid views, I doubt you or others would be as horrified by RAs actions. The only question is whether what Folau said was so unreasonable/intolerant that RAs response is justified. This is a decision for the body adjudicating on the decision.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Of course.

          But RA will be seen as intolerant by some people no matter which way things go. Wanting people to go to heaven is quite different from saying people should be killed or confined into “homelands”.

          The intolerance of his actions is not the only question.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t disagree. But the reality is, for someone that was truly pro-Apartheid the ‘homelands’ was a state for everyone.

          There’s evidently a huge schism between most conservative Christians feel Folau’s words signify and mean, and what most progressive Christians, agnostics and atheists feel about his words.

          This isn’t going to fix itself quickly. Will be a process of many years I suspect.

        • Pearcewreck

          IF is not a sponsorship sales person, he is not there to sign up sponsors, if sponsors are unhappy, what has that got do with wearing the 15 jersey for the Waratahs and Wallabies? Not his problem.
          In a court of law, they won’t be focused on sponsorship.

          If IF has hurt his own marketability, so what, what has that got do with wearing the 15 jersey for the Waratahs and Wallabies?
          In a court of law, they won’t be focused on marketability.

          Your points about criticism and being intolerant is not valid as RA are being criticised by both sides, and in a court of law one can easily argue RA are being intolerant of IF views.

      • Dud Roodt

        But all 4 were punished for their offences, and didn’t commit them again (Hunt was not found guilty of having coke, just Xanax or something – which if you ask any player, they all have regularly to help them sleep). Phipps pissed on a bar on his bucks, I get everyone hates him but fucking hell, you’d think he killed someone. He apologised to the owner and got suspended.

        • Bernie Chan

          Yeh…Phipps did something daft while intoxicated (he’s no Robinson Crusoe…) but he isn’t a criminal. And the others did serve their ‘time’ so-to-speak…Slipper’s case was another very poorly handled by BT…

    • Phil Kcraig

      I don’t see how IF can stay in rugby – I also don’t see how their can be leniency as he was clearly instructed on what was not acceptable the last time it happened and he agreed he would not do what he did but did it again. Too much of a risk to give leniency and keep on the books. Glad common sense prevailed as to me was clear high level breach. This is an employer – employee issue and not a religion thing as if I posted same sort of thing I would be reprimanded by my employer and indeed if did it again after the first warning I would be gone. And I am not a high profile public figure but just a mere citizen.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nathan. Interesting criticism of the Brumbies. I know I’d rather my team win ugly than lose nicely and if it works why not play to your strengths. I think the real issue will be what is their plan B if they come up against a team that can counter their drive and I’m not sure they have that.

    I hope the Rebels have settled down and identified where they are going wrong. I think their season is on a bit of a knife edge and it could go either way. For me they need to find somewhere for Hodge and it’s not 12 or 13, get Koroibete to either front up or go to a club and learn to actually play the game and work out a plan B and C.

    Interesting decision on Izzy, the real issue is with so many people vilifying him publicly, what are the options after whatever sanction is decided? I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the changing rooms next time he’s there with Cheika, Hooper, Genia, Phipps and others who have come out so strongly against him.

    • Custard Taht

      Wessels definitely needs to start showing more, this team is under performing. If they miss the finals his coaching seat should feel very warm.

      I think Wessels is showing signs of being like every other current Australian coach, a one trick magician. It seems he can do disappearing tricks, cause that is what is happening to their finals chances. He needs to show he has other tricks in his bag, especially being able to pull a rabbit from his hat.

      • Brumby Runner

        I reckon he will CT and I also reckon it will start this weekend. In reality, all he has to do is get the team performing at its best for the full 80 minutes and if they do that, they will have at least three more wins in the bag by beating the Reds, Tahs and Sunwolves. That could be enough to make the final 8.

        • Custard Taht

          Really hope you are right, not just for the Rebels sake, but Aus rugby in general.

          If they get their shit sorted they could be serious contenders, they could be somebody!

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I think Wessels has the goods but needs more time to develop his planning and management. I think the real issue is a lack of good mentoring to help him grow. Hopefully Johnson will step up into this role

        • Custard Taht

          Wessels would definitely benefit from a good mentor, it is a shame Mackenzie is lost to Aus rugby, he would have fit the bill nicely.

        • Who?

          Wonder if Dave still talks with Jake..?

        • Custard Taht

          If he doesn’t he should….if he is he should listen!

    • Dud Roodt

      Realistically, no matter what the final punishment is, his place in the team in now untenable. His coach said he can’t pick him, his captain said he would feel uncomfortable playing alongside him and from what I understand there has been a number of players who have had enough of his preaching within the team.

      The best thing that could happen is to pay him out some figure (certainly not the full amount) and wish him all the best so he can go and play for the Brunei Floggers XV in Andrew Forrests new comp.
      If he won’t take a settlement, they should pay him his money to play club rugby, and if he doesn’t, sack him (again) for being in breach of contract.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I agree and that’s why I think standing him down until 2020 is probably a good option. plus maybe a hefty fine and an apology

        • Custard Taht

          But RA didn’t come out swinging like they did, to then not sack him. I can’t see any punishment other than sacking. He will need to take it through the courts to keep his job.

        • Huw Tindall

          Coming out swinging was RAs first mistake. Talk about knee jerk. Like the copy telling you you’re going to gaol before you’ve even been charged! RA have painted themselves into a corner because they thought it would be a good PR strategy to come out hard.

        • Custard Taht

          Agreed. One thing I have learnt when dealing with a large organisation, when they make a mistake, they double down on it.

        • James Pettifer

          They tried to contact him for 24 hours after the post both directly and through his management and he failed to communicate with them.

        • Uncle Tony

          It’s interesting to see how it has played out. Izzy knowingly backed RA into a corner with his post. RA then backed themselves into a corner by pre-empting the outcome of the hearing. Poor form by Izzy and poor form by RA. Cheika and Hooper et al could easily have distanced themselves from this publicly as well by saying that the whole thing will be subject to a hearing/review and that they would be making no further comment until that process was complete.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think RA have still got an option to step back from total sacking and be more pragmatic. While I agree with BL on the whole contract issues I think there is also an ability to not pick someone for their “fit” in the team and standing him down for the rest of this year as part of that is an option.

        • Who?

          Agreed, but that doesn’t guarantee he’d ever fit again. A lot has been said. I don’t see how they can continue working together.
          At least when Beale wasn’t sacked in 2014, he had the support of enough of the dressing room and the incoming coach (who decided unilaterally to break his suspension, imposed by the Code of Conduct board). Even if RA (and the outgoing coach, though no one knew he was outgoing) wanted him gone. That’s not the case here, too many have said too much for it to be possible.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          That’s why I think a suspension for the rest of this year is a start. Most of those condemning him publicly will be gone next year

        • Custard Taht

          Except the one person who is probably pulling all of RAs strings, Alan Joyce!

        • Custard Taht

          Definitely don’t dispute what you are saying, what you say is the best way for both sides to salvage something from this mess.

          Unfortunately history has proven that once the sabre rattling has started, neither side is willing to sheath them without drawing blood.

      • onlinesideline

        TBH knowing what I know of Twiggy Forest, I dont think he would have a bar of him actually.

        • Dud Roodt

          Ha yeah I’m inclined to agree. Just had to figure out in what comp the Brunei team would play.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Brunei team wouldn’t take an Infidel!

        • Dud Roodt

          Luckily I think Izzy might be easily persuaded to change his particular brand!

    • Happyman

      Funny mate not many talk negatively about the Saders with the strong forward pack and devastating rolling maul.
      I think it is the same people who decry scrum resets and prefer the League group hug scrum. A team should happily embrace identity.

    • Keith Butler

      News on the Rebels team Jones back at 6, RHP at lock with Phillip. Meakes and Hodge at 12 and 13. Koribete still in the run on XV

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I think both Hodge at 13 & Koroibete at wing are weak points that will be expoloited

        • Keith Butler

          Agreed. I thought Hodge had only appeared at 12 but i could be wrong. Koribete would be lucky to be warming the bench imo.

        • Who?

          The only good thing about it for the Rebels is that the Reds aren’t as likely to exploit the 13 channel as the Canes. Kerevi’s a true legend, but isn’t he playing 12..?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I hope so as I think 12 is his best position. Looking forward to seeing the clash between him and Meakes. I think they are the top 12’s in the conference so may cancel each other out a bit

  • Custard Taht

    Is a a high level breach another way of saying serious misconduct? The code of conduct doesn’t appear to define the breaches.

    The last guy who was found guilty of serious misconduct got a $45k fine. I don’t expect Folau to get a fine, he has never been described as a national treasure.

    The Reds/Rebels game is going to big in regards to each teams final chances. I think there is more on the line for the Rebels, they need to turn it around this weekend.

  • The Jackal

    A possible scenario

    Folau back dated 12 week suspension which sees him through to the end of the Super Rugby season + 6 figure fine + mandated empathy training

    Cheika then selects him for Rugby Championship because he has done the crime but done the time.

    Egg on Rugby Australia’s face

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Even if Folau’s contract isn’t terminated by this process, and even if RA doesn’t then appeal, and even if RA doesn’t then pay out his contract, Cheika isn’t going to pick him. He’s done mate.

      • Andrew Luscombe

        No one has actually heard Izzy’s side of the story. He has probably been told to say nothing more until the legal process is over – especially not to RA employees. Cheika’s comments were based on how things appear publicly and to him at the moment. If (big if) Izzy wins a court case, and his posts are explained as saying something different from “gay people will go to hell” things will appear different to the public and different to Cheika.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          He explained it last year. He says he loves gay people amd is motivated by wanting to save his soul.

          I actually believe him. But I don’t think the public, or Qantas, will care.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          We haven’t heard his side of things this time – e.g. did he think people had understood the explanation last time (RA said they did) and did he think there wouldn’t be as much fuss this time because of that explanation, or perhaps he thought that if he carefully quoted the bible that it would be seen as more respectful, would a reasonable person agree with that? Again it’s hard to reach conclusions with what is publicly available.

          A court finding backing him up would make a big difference. He has some support now, but with a court on his side things would be very different.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Even if he said that, why would people care? We went through this all last time. He wouldn’t get away with doing the exact same thing and using the exact same defence as last time.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          If a court agreed with him, many people would care.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Would Qantas? Would the Fairfax media?

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Maybe. Depends on how it plays out.

      • The Jackal

        We’ll see mate. Just a possibility. Cheika will do what is right for himself

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t think he will. He has an employer (RA), has a selection panel and also rumours are there is a bunch of Wallabies who will make themselves unavailable if Folau is picked.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          And if they do that, another group of wallabies will literally walk out for good as their beliefs rightfully so are more important than rugby if daffodils force them to choose between the two….. and let’s be clear…. That “forcing to choose” between rugby and beliefs is coming from popgun RA…..not the players who have a perfectly legal right to pronounce their beliefs! Next the Atheists will want the Poly players (and BRad) banned from praying on the field after games…..

        • Who?

          Cheika will do what is right for himself

          Whatever happens, that’s the honest truth of it all. Last bloke to cop a high level sanction on the Code of Conduct, where the (then) ARU said they were going to sack him, they fined him $45k and suspended him indefinitely. Cheika got him on a plane 2 weeks later…

    • Dud Roodt

      Apparently he has put a lot of the team off in recent months with his preaching and trying to convert, I would say Cheika’s comments came after a lot of consultation with the rest of the team. I reckon he’s donned his last gold jersey

      • The Jackal

        I think deep down as well. Playing Devil’s advocate. Had not heard that about the preaching had heard the opposite when he did it last year. Radicalization happens quickly doesn’t it.

        • Dud Roodt

          It does. I think he’s really gone off the boil the last 6 months or so.
          And there has been an increasing divide in the team on account of it.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s, well an interesting batch of news this morning. My random thoughts whilst sipping on my morning coffee:
    – Well not looking at the motives, or the ethics, or the freedom of speech / religion issue, but purely looking at it as a process, there are some interesting things out of this. Sitting down last night with a member of my family who is a QC, we discussed the why’s and the wherefore’s of this. His points which interested me, was the COC hearing is the only part of this that RA can control. So if they want to have anything that resembles a positive outcome this is their only chance to do so. If they want to settle this in something that can be a close to a win for all parties, it is now or never. Because if they terminate his contract or hand him a punishment that he considers unfair, it will definitely go to court. Then RA lose control of the process. Infact, and I take his opinion highly, he is of the view that in a court of law Izzy will not only trigger the initiation of this, but will have the lead in the process, and more than likely will win, and will win big. RA may have to accept by settling, that they may not like the result that they have handed out through the COC hearings, but they controlled it and the matter is ended. If it goes to court, it will drag on and on, and be costly, dollars wise and reputation wise. Said QC, there are members of the legal community that are lining up to take Izzy’s case pro bono because they view it as the case of the decade, that and because most of them dislike RA for what they have done to the game too! (Hilarious huh, nothing like a Lawyer with a grudge). The other interesting thing my BIL said, is that the RA CEO and chairman are also now exposed to personal lawsuits, i.e. lawsuits that target them as individuals not under the protection of RA and its indemnity insurance. That would be a particularly ugly turn if that occurred but I was told, it will and will be part of the process. Multiple legal fights on multiple axis. So lets see what happens now!
    – Re the critiscism of the Brumbies, I agree with Fischer. AN ugly win is better than a good looking loss anyday.
    – I hope Cooper is well sorted out leading to the back end of the season, we need good strong 10’s. And unfortunately neither of the 10’s are firing at 100%.
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      It may, but won’t definitely go to court. Court is risky, and incredibly expensive, for all parties, especially Folau when he doesn’t have obvious income streams following this.

      Folau might have media backers like Jones now. But I would be incredibly surprised if any were willing to put their money where their mouth is.

      The smartest thing Folau could do, is settle.

      Did NSW AG ever get back to you? I’ve continued researching, but can’t see any evidence of it being illegal in NSW. In all other states and territories the law is much more on Folau’s side, but doesn’t seem to be in NSW.

      • Brisneyland Local

        My bet is 100% it will go to court. There are multiple lawyers QC’s and SC’s that are willing to do this pro bono (no cost). With a battery of lawyers like that, and some of them I know (well have met at BIL’s BBQ’s etc) why wouldn’t you. The risk is not Izzy’s now it is RA’s. No one will line up to represent RA free of charge. Jones will continue to back and will financially contribute, how much but he will. Jones hates RA and would happily financially contribute to their downfall.
        The logical thing for all parties to do is settle. But legal fights rarely involve logic, they become emotional. It is about pride. it is about honour, it is ego, and it is about winning, and not just winning but drubbing the other party into the ground!
        Re AG’s No they didnt, but am headed to that neck of the woods tmw so will catch up with him.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I would be pretty surprised if anyone does end up representing a millionaire pro bono. Especially with the length of time and complexity of this case.

          If it went to the HCA, for example, it could be years of work for a SC/QC.

          And again, perhaps you will correct me tomorrow, but I don’t think the law is on Folau’s side.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes but it is a test bed case. The first of its kind. This is the stuff they dream of. You win this and you name is made, as it sets precedence! And besides that it will be many of them, and they share the work load and the impact.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          You need a reasonable chance of success though, and the law doesn’t seem to be on Folau’s side.

          Also, even in a test case, bills have to be paid and SCs/QCs love their income (just look at their fees).

          I would be surprised if a top QC wanted to devote years of their life to a case they wouldn’t get paid for, even if they won.

        • Brisneyland Local

          For the record I am not a lawyer, I did half a law degree and hated it and changed to something more interesting. My BIL is a QC, so I listen to what he says because he knows what he is talking about. He thinks Izzy will walk it in under the FWA, and he believes strongly that Izzy has the law on his side. The SC’s and QC’s wouldnt work on this full time they still have their other income stream, as the rarely are working on one case by itself. I dont know about the other radio guys, but Jones hates RA and he would definitely chip, this is right up his alley. How much he would chip is up to debate, but he would. I have seen him chip in for things that he was less passionate than this.
          I 100% agree both parties SHOULD settle! No one wins in this. But as I have said, my prediction is it wont. Interesting part is that if they don’t terminate his contract but simply hand him a fine and a suspension, he can not use the fair work act as a course of reproach. If they terminate him he can!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’ve heard from multiple lawyers, including an SC, that think the law isn’t on Folau’s side. Even in High Court cases, how often is it that here is a dissenting opinion?

          Not saying your QC is wrong, but like economists, I’ve learned never to assume that a lawyer is correct in their opinion, regardless of how senior they are. Dissenting opinions are so common.

          The reason I think RA are right is just because of the lack of commonwealth legislation protecting workers from negative action from employers based on religion. From memory the Fair Work Act basically says it is illegal if the relevant jurisdiction made it illegal. This was re-affirmed by the Australian human rights commission website. NSW is the only state that seems to have not enacted such lws.

          Even if such jurisdictional laws exist, the Fair Work Act says that there are exceptions for positions in which there is an inherent need for an exception to freedom of religion. Given Folau is a public figure representing the sport and meant to raise interest, popularity and sponsorship, that seems like a pretty reasonable need for an exception to me.

          Is your mate from Qld or NSW?

        • Brisneyland Local

          AG’s mate or BIL. AG’s mate works in NSW AG’s. Brother in Law (BIL) is a Qlder by birth, practised law in both NSW and QLD.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          BIL (I’m not down with the kids’ lingo, despite being in my young 20s myself – this is my only ‘social media…).

          Anyway, it’s an interesting case, and one I would quite like to see clarified in the HCA.

          Love these chats we have on this issue and others, by the way.

          Still going to Ben in Canberra soon?

        • Brisneyland Local

          DBTB, I love the respect on these pages. We have great discussions, the only thing missing is a bottle or two of Barossa Red. They are never vitriolic, and always deep in thought. I really enjoy them, and the people on here.
          Yep may be down in Canberra within the fortnight. Will let you know.

        • Custard Taht

          I wonder if somewhere in the RA governance documents it mentions the maximum suspension that can be imposed.
          If not, suspend him for 4 years and order him to work with with support groups for vulnerable people and youths, and other anti bullying groups.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I am sure in the TOR (terms of Reference) for the Code of Conduct Committee there will be a guidelines document.

        • joy

          Prepare to be stunned. Folau will be delighted to do God’s work.

        • Hoss

          I am not surprised in the slightest where Mr Jones puts his mouth.

          Actually didn’t a rugby player recently quote something about this behaviour, i am sure i read somewhere………

        • Who?

          Hopefully not – we can’t have another code of conduct hearing! :-P

        • Huw Tindall

          His church may have a few bob lying about if it’s anything like Hillsong with it’s mandatory pre-tax donation from members!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Izzy’s church is tiny. Hillsong is huge. And have lots of money. One of the lads from work goes to Hillsong. They have EFTPOS machines on the back of the pews to make it easier to donate.

        • Dud Roodt

          “They have EFTPOS machines on the back of the pews”

          Just like Jeebus would have wanted

        • Brisneyland Local

          Apparently.

        • joy

          Or they just might be righting a wrong.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          If it got into the courts, it is something that the high court might possibly take on straight away. The high court can take cases out of lower courts. It does it sometimes when it thinks a legal ruling on something would be useful to the law. In this case there might be a number of things they could look at e.g. how well does the “legal reasonable person” understand religious statements and how offensive are they. There is little case law on much of this stuff, and possibly the high court might like to make some, but who knows.

          We don’t know which part of the COC he has been found to have breached, and so it’s hard to say how the decision might be questioned or appealed. It’s quite possibly not a religious related decision at all – maybe he’s breached a clause like “doing something likely to cause harm to RA”. Appealing that is quite different to appealing a “he’s been non inclusive” finding. It’s all speculation at this stage.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Even if it is referred straight to the High Court after an initial hearing at a lower court, it won’t be quick, or cheap.

          Would be a very exciting development in terms of clarifying Australian law though. I think RA would likely win, but that would be scary in terms of comments made by your average Joe, rather than millionaires to the public. The HCA would have to tread very carefully if they wanted to protect rights for most workers, while setting a different standard for some workers (people in the public eye, representing organisations, etc).

        • Who?

          Would be a very exciting development in terms of clarifying Australian law though. I think RA would likely win, but that would be scary in terms of comments made by your average Joe, rather than millionaires to the public.

          Agree, except that, at national level, I’m less confident RA would win. Because I thought (going off your posts and others) that there’s more protections for religion at national level, and because ruling otherwise has the capacity to destroy all organized religion in the country. Because regardless of whether or not those sorts of verses are used weekly, their existence across most (all?) pre-1960 religions makes them vulnerable to claims of vilification.
          Similar things have already been pushed, where claims of vilification by members of one religious organisation against another has seen charges (though they were dropped).

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’m not sure there is more defences for freedom of religious expression at the national level.

          A famous High Court case from the 1960s or so also set a precedent that the HCA would step in further to protect minority religions than Christianity from memory.

          This also doesn’t threaten freedom of religion, belief or practice. Just threatens the ability to be able to express religious views publicly, which is actually an important distinction.

        • Who?

          Given (I know not all agree with me) Christianity is arguably now a minority – and certainly Folau’s church is a minority (because ‘Christianity’, as we know, is a broad church, and self-proclaimed Christians disagree on the limits of that term – as an example, whether or not a Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness is a Christian), I wonder if the 60’s HCA case would now apply here, too?
          .
          Also, if religious practice includes proselytization, then public expression is part of practice. If you’re a Mormon (which Folau and his family were), then doing missionary work’s a requirement (as we see with a number of young NRL players, having taken time away from the game to do that). It’s part of their practice. I get where you’re coming from – you’re saying that there’s nothing that protects the ability to hold a mass in the middle of Martin Place, or Friday prayers at Fed Square, or a Sabbath dinner at the War Memorial. That’s understandable. But the line can be made very grey, and where does the court rule? Does the court rule that proselytization isn’t part of the requirements of Folau’s faith? If so, how is that not defining his faith, and is that permissible..?
          .
          It’s fascinating. It’s just a shame it’s going to take forever to see it worked out. For two reasons. One is the obvious suffering all around caused by the situation. But, selfishly, also because it’s a slightly nerdy and less exciting but still fascinating puzzle which we want to see unfold, like waiting for Endgame or GOT.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Over half of Australia’s population professed Christianity as their religion. I think no religion was the next most poplar religion, with only 30% or so of the population.

          Seems hard to make a case that it’s the minority relgion in Australia

        • Dud Roodt

          I think the issue with the census is that a lot of people just put Christian down even if they’re not practicing in any way shape or form and it doesn’t have any impact or involvement in their life.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          But why do you have to practice to be a Christian? It just seems like a sad way for some Christians to express their superiority over others. I know lots of my family in Ireland stopped going to church after the sexual abuse scandals, They’d lost their faith in the human beings involved with organised Christianity, but not in Christ and Christianity.

          This article sums it up well:
          https://www.theroar.com.au/2019/05/06/no-one-person-is-bigger-than-the-game/

          I agree many people are only nominal Christians. But it’s still difficult to argue its the minority religion in Australia.

          Also, there is the additional fact that Australia’s freedoms of religion and speech are nowhere near as advanced as most people think they are.

        • Who?

          If you’re not practicing, then you don’t share the same faith as Israel. In fact, I expect a majority of practicing Christians still don’t adhere to the same faith as Israel. Hence my point about Puritans founding Massachussets, Quakers founding Pennsylvania. They were all Christian faiths in England that moved to North America because they were considered to be different to the official Christian faith (Church of England).

        • joy

          Is this divide and conquer?

        • Who?

          No. Christianity is already massively divided. Most who claim to be Christians don’t demonstrate an affiliation to a church (and therefore can’t be considered as giving their support to that specific church’s theology – meanwhile, social positions are something that varies inside churches – there’ll be plenty of churches this month where half vote one way and the other half vote the other way). Christianity is still the largest faith in Australia, but Australia, for the most part, is a post-religious country. Christianity is in the minority.
          .
          And what’s to conquer?

        • joy

          Here’s the impact of Christianity on all our lives. Its the foundation stone of democracy and western civilisation. It has at its core the concept of free speech that you are currently benefitting from on this blog.

        • Greg

          at the risk of buying in to a debate that belongs on another forum….. Islam also seems to have contributed over the centuries!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Um, democracy came from the ancient Greeks, which was a pre-Christian society.

          To argue that democracy comes logically from Christian beliefs is ludicrous. Christian beliefs involve putting faith above reason and logic.

          If democracy comes from anything, it is humanist, secular beliefs in the power of human beings.

        • Pearcewreck

          DBTB,
          Christianity and Democracy have gone hand in hand for centuries.

        • Dud Roodt

          But to say that Christianity is the foundation of democracy is absolutely bonkers. As DBTB points out, it existed long before Christianity

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          No, they haven’t…

          Democracy became a thing in the West after hundreds of years of secular thinkers working to curtail the authority of the church.

          Read about the French Revolution.

        • Who?

          It’s a really interesting one, this. The separation of church and state, by which I mean having a religion that was physically externally headquartered, through the middle ages was a new development. And a great one for humanity. I can’t think of a single culture before that time where the religion wasn’t co-located with the civil authorities.
          .
          It’s arguable that physical separation allowed development that hadn’t previously existed. There’s also no question that Rome through that period wasn’t an example of enlightened thinking. That said, the Renaissance happened in Italy!
          The Reformation, following the Renaissance, and the change in understanding of religion that came from that (since that time, religion has tended to shrink in its demands on its adherents – not always, but it hasn’t dictated life to the same extent as the medieval Catholic church), along with further decentralisation of religious authority, and progress continued.
          .
          France, in remaining strongly Catholic, almost required a revolution before its philosophers’ ideas were able to be experienced by its population. Whereas the US, England (not Ireland, not Wales, and not as much Scotland), Protestant regions of Germany, Scandinavia, these areas had more freedom, and some had democracy. Not radical democracy like 1789 France, but a progressive growth into democracy.
          Apart from England, where the head of state was head of the church (a role they still hold), these countries largely maintained separation of church and state. Now, I get the US is full of religious division, but it’s still technically separate (no President has run a church – thankfully). Generally, they understood that separation of religious authority and the state was good, as they had seen how badly things could go when their religious opponents held government, so they understood (though the English took time to figure it out – understandably, after the plots against Elizabeth, James, etc) that it’s better to ensure no religion is permitted to rule such that others are oppressed.
          .
          I’m not claiming that secular thinkers didn’t do similar, I’m saying that there’s many factors that got us where we are today, and we should be thankful for all of them. People talk about the Judeo-Christian heritage, I’d argue one of its strengths is that it set up systems where adherents were (eventually) secure enough to get out of the way enough to give all people freedom to live as they choose, even when those people chose differing philosophies. Other cultures largely haven’t done that (Moorish Spain and early Ottoman years being notable exceptions), and certainly haven’t maintained it.
          Because I’d rather be arguing about Folau’s situation than worrying about gay people being bashed, Indigenous Australians being considered fauna, women being considered incapable of the consideration required to be capable of voting, etc. Really, we’re in a pretty good spot. :-)

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          What do you mean you can’t think of anywhere in which religion was separated from the state?

          Depending on what you mean, I can think of a few.

          We are in a good spot mate.

        • Who?

          I mean I can’t think of anywhere before about 1500 years ago where the seat of religious power was regularly beyond the geographical reach of the civil leadership’s power. You could go back to 1000 BC in Egypt and point out that religion and state were separate (because the Pharaoh wasn’t the priest), but civil and religious power ebbed and flowed based on who had more gold. It started with the Pharaoh and moved to the priests, and whoever had it marginalised the other.
          .
          I could be wrong, but I honestly can’t think of a time before about 800AD where the centre of religious power could be more than 1000km from the borders of countries adhering to a religion (like Rome to England – though, obviously, given Charlemagne was crowned by the pope in 800AD, the Franks didn’t have that issue of distance).

        • Dud Roodt

          “Its the foundation stone of democracy” – no, it is not.

          “at its core the concept of free speech” – umm, no, it does not. I’m almost certain that throughout history many thousands of people have been killed in the name of Christ for expressing different beliefs

        • joy

          The Christian religion promotes the primacy of the individual and family which is also building blocks of democracy. Totalitarian states deliberately weaken the status of individual and family.
          Modern democracy is only a couple of hundred years old starting around the time that Church was separated from State. Since then wars have been fought mainly between democratic countries and aggressive totalitarian states.

        • Dud Roodt

          Are You suggesting wars only started when the state had separation from the church ‘a few hundred years ago’?

        • Who?

          The Census is only one metric. Attendance figures – especially when breaking it down to their specific group of churches – would make it a tiny fraction of the population.
          Religious discrimination between different arms of the church isn’t a new thing, it’s why we have Massachussets, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland…..
          They were all formed by minority religions that may be considered part of a larger religion, but which were excluded.
          There’s pretty clear scope to argue that his views and religion are held by a minority. Including a vote a little over a year ago.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          The vote a year ago wasn’t a matter of ‘Christians’ losing though. It was a situation in which most churches were on the losing side, but it is wrong to frame it as a ‘Christian vs non-Christian thing’.

          If Christian churches had been forced to conduct such marriages under he vote you might have a point, but…

          Also: https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-15/same-sex-marriage-uniting-church-gives-ministers-right-to-decide/9995602

          The reality is, Australia doesn’t have legal freedoms of religion to the extent that many people think it does.

        • Who?

          I’m not framing SSM as Christians vs non-Christians, however, it’s pretty clear that as people whose religion required them to vote no, Folau’s religion is in the minority. It’s not the same as those who voted yes. It’s not even the same as those many who voted no (because I know plenty of people with no religious affiliations who voted no).

        • joy

          Are you denying that the gay marriage got up without part of the Christian vote? If so I want a rerun. Christians didn’t vote to let gays out of the cupboard to vacate it for themselves. This whole debate requires a large dose of empathy.

        • Who?

          I don’t believe Australia is (still) a Christian country. The vast majority of those who list themselves on the census as ‘Christian’ never attend, don’t practice their nominated faith, are not claimed by churches (i.e. membership claims by churches nationwide is generally under 15% of the population, weekly attendance is more like 5-7.5% of the population), and don’t necessarily adhere to their listed faith’s position on items like the SSM vote (because the majority of churches, whilst showing empathy and not preaching on the topic, still officially have a position not dissimilar to Folau’s – the Catholic Church is pretty clear on it, certainly). My wife’s working in Cath Ed at present. We’re not Catholic (not actively, not nominally). She’s shocked at how disrespectful some of the other staff members are about the rituals they’re required to perform. These are people who largely say they’re Catholic.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Mormon’s and Jehovah’s witnesses would have to be two of the MOST likely religions to fit the “christian” name tag…… as they are 2 of the rare examples of Christian religions that strive to live by bible standards and spread the “word”.
          “Modern” Christians however could probably fit in just about anywhere……
          As for Folous potential law suit….. I would have thought there would be a long line of lawyers happy to go pro bono simply for the extreme high profile limelight benefits……

        • joy

          Speech is the freedom used to defend all other freedoms. Shutting down free speech is the first step towards totalitarianism. That’s OK with me as long as I’m calling the shots.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Foalu has the legal right to his free speech. Your ability to show an astounding lack of awareness as to what free speech has meant historically and means today doesn’t change this.

          Realistically, I think you’re ignoring what you know to be true: freedom of speech has never meant freedom from all consequences. Ever.

        • joy

          Actually there is no right to free speech in this country. Its generally taken as a given although subject to legislation re defamation, inciting hate or violence, and limited forms of discrimination.

          Of course there are consequences of speaking freely but listeners have no right to not be offended. Snowflakes need to toughen up.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          We have no express freedom of speech, but the courts have generally interpreted the constitution to protect freedom of speech in most circumstances. So yes, we have free speech in most circumstances.

          It is the beauty of the common law.

          Perhaps they do. But I could say the same about you, who are displaying the exact same issues of most snowflakes, including spreading untruths.

        • joy

          I assume the post 1960 religion is atheism.

        • Who?

          Spaghetti monster..? It’s only since the 70’s that there’s not been consistent and clear discrimination against the gay community.

        • Huw Tindall

          Someone posted the relevant COC section on twitter and it’s basically a loosely worded shopping list of stuff including a paragraph for ‘anything else the committee deems relevant’. Far from a comprehensive list and associated definition of what constitutes a breach. Knowing RA they probably copy and pasted it from the Domino’s pizza employment contract and never expected to use it like this.

        • joy

          Finding Folau has been non inclusive then excluding him is blatant hypocrisy.

        • Patrick

          Yes they can. No they won’t.

        • Damo

          BL it would be kind of ironic if RA fought on, spent a fortune and eked out some kind of win and then Alan Joyce cut the sponsorship cord anyway because he didn’t want his company’s brand connected to Rugby Australia’s negative publicity shitstorm.

        • Brisneyland Local

          That would be the ultimate in irony!

        • Damo

          And it would be very surprising if it wasn’t written on a piece of paper headed “RA Sponsorship Options” and sitting on the QANTAS boardroom table.

    • Who?

      Said QC, there are members of the legal community that are lining up to take Izzy’s case pro bono because they view it as the case of the decade,

      I thought they’d have been desperate to get their hands on it last year. This year, another year down the road, it’s just that much more appealing to them…
      And I can’t believe anyone at all is surprised by the guilty verdict. I’m sure Folau’s team wouldn’t have been surprised.
      .
      Totally agree on the Brumbies.
      .
      And really pleasing to hear honesty from Cooper. Nice to hear things like, “I was tired, it’s a big step up back into Super Rugby.” The break last year playing club was clearly good for him, he’d not really had a time to get himself right without pressure to get back to top level footy before. But that doesn’t mean you don’t struggle to get back into that groove, and rediscover how to manage the fatigue.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep. Also I think QC’s role has changed. He is defending more, attacking the line more, joining rucks and cleaning out. This has to take an impact on your body. I liked the honesty.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I agree with today’s podcast. He is mentally stronger but still weaker than he needs to be and when the pressure comes on he can crack a bit

        • Brisneyland Local

          I am hoping with the right mentors around he will get there. Imagine if Link hadnt have left and he had developed under a coach that could actually coach. Unlike Cheika, Woody Graham, Nick Stiles etc etc

    • Pearcewreck

      Great post BBL.
      And I mean it, you are one of the few in this whole debate who has discussed it and really thought it through.
      Respect.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Thanks mate. I must admit I am lucky to have a family member who is very learned in the law. In that matter I am a complete ignoramus. But as I mentioned to DBTB, the discussions here are great. No malice just great intellectual debate, so to speak. Nothing with me is intellectual! ;-)

    • Uncle Tony

      I can’t see any winners in this. If RA Australia ultimately win then they will kill the career of a talented sportsman for making a provocative social media post. If Izzy wins, then RA will haemorrhage cash and resources, neither of which we have in abundance in this country. A better outcome here, rather than brandishing the axe to start with, would have been to serve a breach notice, hold a COC hearing and THEN table sanctions/fines/whatever. Surely a suspension and fine would be more appropriate than to tear up the contract. To look at a different sport, surely what Smith and Warner did (i.e. cheating in international sport) is much worse than a provocative social media post.

      • Brisneyland Local

        UT, great post mate. Apparently what Izzy has done is worse than what Warner Smith, Beale Slipper and Hunt have all done.
        There is no win here. For any one. There had to be a better outcome then where we are at. We just didnt have the people involved to navigate that path for a resolution!

        • Who?

          The only win is for lawyers…

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah probably. This never should have gotten to hear. Bad leadership allows bad culture.

        • Andy

          It’s a shit situation. But you can bet your bottom dollar if they sanctioned him he would have done it again. Then where are RA left?

          Quite frankly it’s not all that hard to see who started this mess. It’s Folau. He knew his post was going to create the problems it has, throw his teammates under the bus ect. Yet he still did it and shows no remorse. Happy to take the cash still though…. I find it hard to feel sorry for him

        • Brisneyland Local

          Interesting late mail from Nick Farr Jones on this topic. Appears it is not as clear cut as first thought.

        • Andy

          It doesn’t change much in my opinion and I’m not defending RA in this saga other than waiting for the facts ect. I was pissed they signed him for $4mill. Don’t think he’s worth that sort of cash.

          My point is purely on being responsible for your own actions. He knew what he was doing would cause a ruckus and likely create a difficult environment for not only himself but his teammates and employer. He did it anyway….

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep. This hasnt been handled well by anyone. And is a lose lose lose. RA, lose, Israel loses, and most importantly cause I dont give a fuck about Israel or RA. The Fans lose.

        • Who?

          Nick’s having a win in this situation. Isn’t he a solicitor? :-P
          Gotta admit, I knew he was a Christian, but I didn’t imagine he’d be in touch with Folau. Didn’t think there’d be a connection there.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Nick by my recollection is / was a barrister.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          He was on 7 this morning. Lots of interesting comments about what was and wasn’t said

        • Timbo

          It blows my mind that you can cheat, steal, take illicit substances, get wasted and urinate on someone else’s floor and without mentioning other NRL indiscretions, and still keep your job or at least come back to it after a ban, but if you offend someone by quoting or paraphrasing a book that is used in legal proceedings for swearing oaths, in an opinion posted as a public citizen, you’re going to get sacked. What’s even more mind blowing for me is those who have been apparently offended, mostly don’t take said book as scripture and consider it a fairy tale or myth.
          As such, I hope Folau takes this the whole way.

        • ballymoreburning

          I think people are missing the point here. IF is not being terminated due to the severity of his breach. Assurances we sought and given, and a man in a team sport felt that acting in the best interest of his team and sport was a fundamental compromise of of his religious right to offend a large proportion of the fanbase.

          in an orchestrated push back against the sport’s administrators and the coaches who advocated for him a year ago, he chose to instigate a test case on behalf of his god. And despite his insistence that he comes from a place of love and humility, he demonstrates no remorse (a telltale sign of the absence of humility) and and a complete disregard for the business model that sustains the sport (not much loving concern).

          IF is not being terminated because what he did is worse than the aforementioned. Rugby is severing ties with a man who gives zero F&*$#s about rugby. How can there be any other way? the position he has taken, in the context that he created, is completely untenable.

      • Greg

        UT,

        Warner and Smith also expressed remorse.
        Others have received a match or so penalty for similar offenses. The 12 month ban was dramatically more than an ICC penalty because they had brought the game in Australia into disrepute.

        The challenge in the current situation is that Mr Folau would seem to assert that he is in the right and that therefore that no remorse or sanction is needed.

        His values and actions are at odds with those of his employer.

        • Uncle Tony

          Greg,
          That is a fair comment and assessment. He has really backed them into a corner on this one and without any acknowledgment or remorse it’s pretty hard to see a way back for him.

  • The one good thing that could have come out of this kangaroo court is a headline.
    “John West Accepts Verdict”

    • idiot savant

      Smells fishy

  • James Pettifer

    Just reminding people of Israel’s comments in 2015 following reports of gay slurs from the Waratahs against the Brumbies.

    ISRAEL FOLAU: Rugby’s a game of inclusion where everyone is welcomed in and so, you know, me personally, I don’t think there’s any of that within this club and also within the game of rugby.

    I think his views may have changed over the past few years.

    • Pearcewreck

      So, where did IF say gay people can’t play rugby?

      • James Pettifer

        I personally don’t feel included if someone says repeatedly that I am going to hell.

        If there is a gay player in the Wallabies or Waratahs, I can’t imagine that they would feel particularly comfortable playing with Folau or coming out as gay.

        • Greg

          A really simple sanity check here is to consider it very personally.

          Imagine I preached that all gays were going to hell if they did not repent. I do this in a caring way because I want people to be saved. My intentions are only to help those people.

          It then turns out that my daughter is gay.

          I continue to preach the same way as I love my daughter and want her to be saved.

          Question: Does my daughter feel better or worse as a result of my preaching?

          Each of us might have a different answer to the question above.

        • Who?

          You say you don’t want theological discussions, complain about them, then ask a fascinating theological question! There’s more than a little irony in that. :-)
          Great question, and one that is probably only really answerable with any credibility by people who’ve experienced it. The rest of us are just guessing, and couldn’t be truly certain until they faced the situation.
          Full credit to you for recognising that people can hold a position opposing something based on love and concern as well as based on hate. :-) We’re all far too quick to decide anyone who holds a differing opinion is a bigoted fool these days. :-(

        • James Pettifer

          Definitely Greg, but I’d expect the discussion to be more than just HELL when asked what’s God’s plan for gays or to just say “HELL AWAITS YOU. REPENT. ONLY JESUS SAVES”

          If he was seriously coming at this from a caring way, I would think that he would explain his position, his intentions and make it very clear that he was doing it with the drive to help people towards heaven.

          In your question, I am sure that the vast majority of people would feel worse if they were gay and their parents followed the Folau path. I definitely don’t see his approach as being particularly caring.

        • Who?

          Think you missed Greg with your reply. :-)
          .
          To be fair to Folau, he did write more than just the graphic (which I believe is what you’ve quoted) in his post this year. There was a fair bit of text there. I thought he did better at trying to show what he was doing than he did last year. And he’s made his position clear elsewhere, too (PV article).
          .
          That doesn’t mean it’s the right way for him to make his approach, that it was a helpful post for anyone (RA, the LGBTIQ community, his church, or himself).

        • Andy

          The issue that people will have with this is he is basically saying being gay is a choice and aligning it with adultery, alcoholism ect…

          So at the same time that the sport and it’s sponsors are telling people to be open about who they are he is saying that these same people have a problem punishable by hell.

        • James Pettifer

          I thought the formal position among many churches was that being gay was ok as long as you don’t act on it – thus making it a choice. A crap choice but not a good one.

          Rumors are that he has said that he will do the same again if he feels it is appropriate.

          I can see his market value dropping like a stone as most teams and sponsors won’t dare to go near him

        • Greg

          Actually not intended to be theological; just very practical. When you consider the situation personally then the question of whether the comments are inclusive and helpful is probably clear to each of us.

          From personal experience, family typically, but not always, wins. This can be very confronting for some people.

        • Who?

          Practical theology. ;-)

        • Brisneyland Local

          But there are plenty of fornicators and drunkards! And Beale is a lot more of a sinner than the rest of them. Maybe that is why they are unhappy with Izzy coming back! ;-)

        • Hoss

          Mate, his comments didnt bother me one way or t’other as i was drunk and couldn’t decipher them, but the bloke i was rootin at the time, man he burred up.

        • idiot savant

          Youre going to hell Muriel

        • Hoss
        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah I wasnt that offended either because I was drunk, coveting my neighbours wife, whilst stealing his newspaper!

    • Hoss

      Even more so since he married a Kiwi…………

      May i suggest this has Steve Hansen’s finger prints all over it – Kiwi plant

      First listening devices, now the ultimate in espionage, a Kiwi sleeper cell.

      Well played Shag, well played.

      • Dud Roodt

        Could be Dingo Deans up to his old tricks again.

        That spy hasn’t been fully decommissioned by the NZ government yet

        • Hoss

          Next thing you know a former Nearlies ‘Skill Coach’ will offer his services to the Gold and we will turn too shite – oh fuck, hang on………

        • Dud Roodt

          I think you’ve unwittingly uncovered a nefarious plot here Hoss.

          I’m already working on the Spotlight style movie about it.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Damn you’ve found us out

        • Hoss

          Sheep were only invented to stop Kiwis taking over the world.

          Cunning lot.

  • Singapore Sling

    In the immortal words of Darryl Kerrigan…..”suffer in ya jocks Izzy”! To be honest I can’t make up mind on who I support on this issue. It’s a bit like the SSM plebiscite where I intended to vote Yes but ended up making a paper plane out of the ballot as I’d been sickened by the far lefts invective towards anyone exercising their right to voice a different opinion.

    I’m still trying to decide who annoys me more. The fanatically religious or the scalded virtue signallers. Its a bit like having to choose between Labor and the Greens, I prefer neither.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Pure Gold!

  • Hoss

    Morning all.

    Well, round 1 in a likely 12 round bout done and points decision to RA, but alas, no one wins overall, not RA, not Dusty, the fans, the sponsors or the code, we all share the black eye to some degree.

    I think its simple from here. trust is gone and that’s the crux of the matter for mine. You cant employ someone you don’t trust. Doesn’t matter the role, the pay, the position – all others are just excuses, trust vanishes, so does the employee. Reminds me of my third wife, trust vanished, so did she.For weeks i thought Telstra had stuffed up my number with the Bureau of Meteorology – some guy kept calling at odd hours asking ‘is the coast clear?’ – then it finally clicked.

    I tell my current wife she is my favourite so far.

    • Greg

      This is the thing… not your wife or bruce or telstra….

      Regardless of who is right or wrong, how can there be a workable relationship after all of this. I don’t see any way it is possible.

      • Hoss

        Yep. Any contrition from Izzy from here (unlikely) would seem disingenuine anyhow, so we are at the point of no return. Not saying he wont get some sort of payout, but we are in the ‘best loss’ scenario now. There’s a saying in my field that your first loss is your best loss – and its all so hard to quantify from here. Protracted legal battle, sponsor anxiety, player unrest, fan disengagement – all in the shadows of Kill Bill in 4 months as well. So now its a negotiation and ironically Folau has the upper hand (go figure) – kind of ‘make me go away’

        I would however say, that Pastor Israel has also said previously ‘he would walk away’.

        Aint life grand !!

        • Dud Roodt

          “disingenuine ”

          I think you just invented a new word

        • Greg

          at the risk of being provocative… let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

          https://www.askdifference.com/disingenuous-vs-disingenuine/

        • Dud Roodt

          Well there you go!

        • joy

          Falau is incapable of disingenuousness. That’s what got him into this position in the first place. Does that deserve punishment? Of course not.

        • disqus_NMX

          The joy of believing in a god that forgives you for being a liar and a hypocrite, and encourages you to be self righteous and preach to the world about not being a liar and a hypocrite.

        • From NooZealand

          As long as he does not walk on water while he is walking away.

    • Funk

      If we can’t employ/work with someone we can’t trust…..we are all stuffed with this election coming up!!!!!

  • Greg
    • GO THE Q REDS

      Well I’m with Mr Allan Jones on this one! I think it’s extremely sad some think we can’t publicly share our beliefs in public. Does anyone stop and actually think where this sort of stuff leads too?
      Wonder what will happen, now that I hear they’re teaching school kids about Islam, Sharia law and Muslim practises! I wonder how it will go down when they get to the chapter about how to this day gay’s are stoned to death in the streets in Muslim countries? The outrage will be epic…..

  • Greg

    Can someone with a legal background correct me here?

    1. I did something, X, last year that caused my employer concern
    2. I was formally reprimanded and agreed that I would not do X again.
    3. I signed a new contract, having agreed I would not do X again.
    4. This year I repeated X.
    5. After consultation, I was terminated.

    Is there anything wrong with the above?

    isn’t this normal employment stuff? Wouldn’t the claim, if any, be to the FWC for unfair dismissal?

    note, religion is not mentioned above. Is it actually relevant?

    • Andrew Luscombe

      We don’t know that point 2 happened or what it consisted of – e.g. “by all means keep talking about religion but please be more respectful,” or “don’t say anything about gay people again”? In public RA said they liked Izzy’s explanation, so it doesn’t sound like any official warning was given.

      The new contract was the standard contract.

      Religious interpretations mostly become relevant in the detail of if he did the same thing again, or if he broke any agreement or warning, or what parts of the code of conduct were breached.

      They got him for a Code of Conduct breach, not for breaching a particular work instruction so any prior communications is mostly relevant to the level and blatentness of the breach.

      • Greg

        Thanks and all fair points.

        If 2) did not happen, or was ambiguous, then the situation is much less clear. The employer would then have been poorly advised or careless.

        Would not any action still be at the FWC?

        • Andrew Luscombe

          I think highly paid people who don’t work under an award can’t use the FWC (over $150,000 I think). So court probably, if anything.

        • Greg

          actually… you are correct. I had forgotten that limitation.

      • Singapore Sling

        I think this hearing has established that point 2 did in fact happen.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Some communications happened, but how do you know what it consisted of?

        • Andy

          The discussions were minuted

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Have you seen the minutes? Can you share them?

        • Andy

          No. Don’t be silly.

          That’s what Castle claimed in her press conference when the he same question was asked

        • Greg

          see my comment above. Pretty likely that is where we are heading.

        • Singapore Sling

          A high level breach would only occur if Folau had been warned of consequences and knowingly transgressed again. I doubt this three person highly qualified panel would accept hearsay communication as evidence therefore there must be a document letter or signed meeting minutes supporting RA. Folau’s legal team may argue their client lacked the sophistication to comprehend the directive however his management team are paid to ensure he understands.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          I think a high level breach is possible without warning, and even if this action is consideted different to the last, but certainly any warnings are relevant verbal or otherwise to the level of breach.

          Definitely there will be written evidence, but we don’t know what it says, or if there’s an argument that he didn’t breach those or thought he didn’t.

        • Singapore Sling

          So we can agree the communication has been established and the players representative has failed to convince the mutually appointed independent panel member that their client was unaware his actions were in breach of this directive.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          No. He may have just been found to have breached the code of conduct and not anything in the earlier communications. We don’t know. It has been presented as a code of conduct thing in all official communications from RA not breaching a directive.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Apparently it’s been revealed his contract was 100% just like every other Warahtahs and Wallaby contract. Apart from all the 0000s at the end of course! There were no clauses added!

      • Greg

        Pure speculation from me but I will be unsurprised if clear written communications exist and
        – One party says – they are clear and were agreed.

        – The other party says – sure they were agreed but I did not mean them to understand I could not do the same thing again..

        We then come to the “reasonable person” argument.

        I am an engineer… it is so much easier!

        Rugby anyone?

    • joy

      There was no formal reprimand. All we got from Castle was double speak. We’re talking blah blah. Castle failed to get anything in writing last year or this year but entered a 4 year contract anyway. Folau stood firm in his belief in God’s word. Why wouldn’t he?

      • Hoss

        Then why would his own & RUPA’s appointed representatives vote that way then ?

        RA was represented by one of three learned gents, yet all 3 voted for a high level breach – wouldn’t that suggest there is some fairly compelling evidence ?????

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Because even those on the panel are human, this is very high profile, there are many agendas at play and there is ALOT of money and influence at stake at this early stage! Well that’s how I heard a lawyer describe how the panel would handle this descission.

  • Greg

    Guys we must have 100 posts about theology today. Am I at the right web site?

    • Hoss

      Bless you my son.

      • Greg

        Thanks Trevor.

      • Damo

        If there is a God, then He has probably now had a gutful of rugby. However if he is all seeing, all knowing and omnipotent then we have a vacancy at #10 that he might like to look at.

        • Who?

          I don’t think it’d be possible for God to have had a gutful of Rugby. It’s the game they play in Heaven. :-P
          Wouldn’t blame anyone for being sick of the rubbish around the game, though…

  • AllyOz

    Coopers comments were interesting, gave a real insight into what it’s like as an “older” player returning from a long break and interesting to read other comments that a higher level of involvement might have contributed. As he wouldn’t have been on the Wallabies radar at the beginning of the year he probably isn’t included under the resting policy. Hopefully when Toomua arrives there is any opportunity, if not to rest then at least to reduce his minutes and refresh home leading into mid year tests.

    I can’t see any winners in the Folau case now. The process has dragged on far too long, the media has played around with it, sides and individuals have all had their say the division has been caused, any homosexuals that were going to be offended already are and any conservative Christians are too. Both conversative and progressive people will pull their kids from the game. It can’t be put back in the box now. I think there are questions around RAs process, and particularly the time they took to act (perhaps exacerbated by IFs initial no-response) but in the modern media environment maybe it is just no longer possible to govern or administrate a game or a country in a considered fashion. There seems a need to respond strongly and immediately to”get ahead” of opinion and contain or control a situation and I don’t think it has worked for the best interests of the game overall here and I don’t think it works either in other parts of the community and the country.

  • Sevenwithasixonmyback

    This whole Izzy fiasco really boils down to who we allow to interact with us on social media platforms.
    If everyone who “followed” us was actually interested in our actions, humour and thoughts there would be much less vitriol on the interweb thingy.
    Funny that the term “Friend” is used so freely, when most who watch are anything but friendly.
    Would be interesting to know how many of those so deeply offended in either of IF’s posts were actually following him or just running with the pack. I seriously doubt anyone following anyone with innocent intent would be so quick to incite global outrage over posts clearly demonstrating the poster’s known and legal and honest beliefs.
    And anyone not actively following or friending someone who posts something they don’t agree with has no bloody right to be offended. It’s not your business what everyone in the world thinks. So many people actively seek conflict.
    I might suggest many role-model types may well be a little more selective who they allow to view their social profiles based on this Folau fiasco…
    I don’t follow him and I don’t care what he says or who he offends and if I am one of those he has targeted then it’s still none of my business ‘cos he’s allowed to have an opinion – whether I like it or not.
    He’s still a shit Fullback and he probably doesn’t like me saying that but he doesn’t care ‘cos I’m allowed to have my opinion, too.
    The only saving grace in all of this is that the Wallabies might now have a proper 15 down the back.
    Not the right way to get there though…

    • AllyOz

      we are down a very good right winger though

      • Sevenwithasixonmyback

        Agree 100%
        Though he was (is) very very good under the high-ball, 15 needs so many more skills that he just never seemed to acquire.
        I would have thought the show-pony/marquee 14 jersey would have been the most attractive for him but he somehow prefers playing FB without all of the FB duties. Really means we have two 14s on the field and no 15.

        • AllyOz

          except if we play DHP and have both on the field but neither in the correct place. In the end though, he is good enough to find a place on the field for him (all other things aside), while he doesn’t have a complete game you don’t win three John Eales Medals and score the most tries in Super Rugby (playing for a largely under performing team) if you are a numpty.

        • Sevenwithasixonmyback

          That development rift is blamed on tier approach to strength and fitness. I’d suggest s&f would be more important in a SR season than intermitent Test footy and by the time you play Test footy you should be pretty bloody fit and strong.
          Many say Tom Banks for FB.
          Maybe time to take the risk and blood new talent right now at the top tier. ’19 WC may not be ours but by ’23 we just must be favourites.
          What do we all cry at the screen when a mall is set 10m out with 0-minutes on the clock?
          Patience.

        • AllyOz

          I don’t cry. I quite like a good maul, or a push over try for that matter. I haven’t seen enough of Banks to make a comment.

  • Bernie Chan

    2016 Player of the Series (AUS v ENG) James Haskell has announced his retirement…jeez he had a solid time in the ENG jersey, especially under Eddie Jones. His comments are quite illuminating…he worries about the state of the game (stop if you’ve got a sense of deja vu…) and said he has done some coaching and laments that kids are “doing weights from 11. People have to want to pick up a ball first, not a weight”. Our own Big Kev and Haskell…2 very good forwards in the tough stuff.

  • I Should be Coach

    Question – does RA have the legal ability to trade a player. I’m sure a European club would take him. Maybe not at the face value of his contract but I would think something close. RA pays the difference and they wash his hands of him and save face.

  • AllyOz

    It was the first time today that I saw the content of the code of conduct and the values of rugby. I was a bit surprised to see that Passion was the leading virtue. I understand the rest. And I don’t have a problem with inclusiveness though I have a different understanding to RA as to what it means. But getting back to my point is Passion really a virtue? I think it’s alway good to act ethically, to act with integrity and to include others but passion …it really depends on what you are passionate about and also how you express it. A passionate coach, for instance, might snag a window or rip a door off its hinges or constantly whine about referees rather than working to make the team better. A passionate (and slightly intoxicated fan) might yell stuff at a player As he comes off after a disappointing result and then accidentally Knock his little sister over. A passionate player might attack a ruck or maul with gusto but he might also take a kick at someone’s head and get a red card and a 3 week suspension.

    • Custard Taht

      I too read the code of conduct…..Cheika should have been charged with multiple breaches for shosing dissent to refs, not accepting their decisions and publicly criticising them.

      • Brisneyland Local

        CT ahhhhh dont go there. How dare we highlight the hypocrisy of RA. Heaven forbid! ;-)

  • Who?

    Stuart Barnes claimed it as a racial thing, too, in his column a few weeks ago. Something along the lines of,
    “Us white people have moved on to better ideas. But we’ve got to be fair to brown people holding onto antiquated ideas, giving them time to change, and not repeating the past cycle of white people telling brown people what they should believe. Because, after all, it was our missionaries who went and forced these people to hold these ideas.”
    A thought provoking statement.

    • GO THE Q REDS

      Quite an interesting line of thought he has. When you take the Whole list of things mentioned in Folous quoted bible post…… I’m getting the feeling Barnes is suggesting societies now feel we “encorouge” people to be Murderers and Sleep around and basically have no morals…..becsuse “we’ve moved on to better ideas”. Hmmmm
      Perhaps Mr Barnes, like ALOT of people need to understand Folous quote in its correct context. It is a call to a safe moral way of life….. not a commandment to be held to by threat of instant death!

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@NathW1997

Loved rugby since the day I could remember, got the nickname Footy to show that, I watch Matt Dunning's dropkick every night before going to bed

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