Folau has been a standout player for the Wallabies in recent years
CNN —  

Australian rugby union player Israel Folau has requested a hearing after Rugby Australia issued a breach of contract notice for a homophobic post the fullback made on social media.

Folau, a devout Christian who has made 73 appearances for the Wallabies, last week posted on Instagram that “hell awaits” homosexuals.

The governing body is now working to arrange a hearing with Folau, having said on Monday that his code of conduct breach warranted the termination of his contract.

“Israel has responded formally today to request a code of conduct hearing which, under the circumstances, was not an unexpected outcome. We will now work to confirm a date for the hearing as soon as possible,” said Rugby Australia Chief Executive Raelene Castle.

“After the date for the hearing is confirmed Rugby Australia and the NSW Rugby Union will make no further comment on the matter until the code of conduct process has concluded.”

The image posted by Folau on Instagram, which has not been deleted, listed “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters,” reading underneath, “Hell awaits you.”

READ: Australia Rugby issues breach of notice to Israel Folau

02:36 - Source: CNN
The 9/11 hero whose legacy lives on through rugby

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald after a church service on Sunday, Folau said he wouldn’t apologize for the post which was widely condemned by the rugby community.

“I’ll stand on what the Bible says,” the 30-year-old said. “I share it with love. I can see the other side of the coin where people’s reactions are the total opposite to how I’m sharing it.”

Folau’s contract with Rugby Australia runs until 2022 and he was expected to play a starring role in this year’s Rugby World Cup. He was warned about his conduct on social media last year after making a comment saying that gay people would go to Hell unless they repented.

“It was made clear to him that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people because of their sexuality will result in disciplinary action,” Castle said on Monday.

READ: Folau leaves ‘unacceptable’ social media post

England international Billy Vunipola was also warned about his use of social media after he defended Folau on Instagram.

“What he’s saying isn’t that he doesn’t like or love those people. He’s saying how we live our lives needs to be closer to how God intended them to be,” Vunipola wrote. “Man was made for woman to pro create that was the goal no?”

His club Saracens issued a statement on Monday saying that Vunipola “made a serious error of judgment in publicly sharing his opinion, which is inconsistent with the values of the club and contravenes his contractual obligations. The player has been formally warned about his future conduct.”

Billy Vunipola has played over 50 times for England

The number eight also met with the Rugby Football Union, English rugby’s governing body, and subsequently was issued with a formal warning.

“I can see that my recent post has hurt people,” said Vunipola. “My intention was never to cause suffering. My intention was to express my belief in the word of God.

“These beliefs are a source of great strength, comfort and guidance in my life. This is deeply personal and does not represent the views of my team.”