Top Wallabies sponsor backs tough Folau stance

Brumbies assistant coach Laurie Fisher has made his feelings clear as critics attack his team's style of play

Former Wallabies coach Alan Jones has blasted Rugby Australia's stance against Israel Folau.

"Israel has failed to understand that the expectation of him as a Rugby Australia and NSW Waratahs employee is that he can not share material on social media that condemns, vilifies or discriminates against people on the basis of their sexuality".

Bishop Harvey did not have an opinion on how Folau should be punished by his sport, but said he wanted the 30-year-old to understand that words had consequences, sometimes unsafe ones, especially among young people who might be questioning their sexuality.

The full-back requested a code of conduct hearing after Rugby Australia indicated it planned to terminate his contract only for the three-man panel to conclude he had committed a high level breach. It prompts you to wonder what kind of society we're living in, ' Jones said.

But Farr-Jones said Folau disputes how strongly that message was conveyed by RA chief executive Raelene Castle and Wallabies coach Michael Cheika.

Should the panel choose the most severe level of punishment in their power and terminate his four-year, $A4 million ($NZ4.25 million) contract, it's expected the dual global will appeal.

Joyce, who gay, said the situation was not an issue for Qantas, but an issue for "every potential sponsor for Rugby Australia".

He also received scorn from his Wallabies teammates, with Will Genia saying: "There are blokes at the Wallabies and the Waratahs that have certain beliefs that very much conflict with what he has said and done".

Both Folau and Rugby Australia can lodge an appeal within 72 hours of the sanction decision.

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The trio believe they made it clear to Folau what was and wasn't acceptable to post when he was handed his formal warning but at this week's code of conduct hearing, Folau argued RA did not specifically outline what he was barred from posting. "The pressures are different, the nature of what you're going to is different and some people thrive in that and some people don't".

"I would hate to think Izzy is a liar because we know what happens to them".

You certainly don't want team cohesion to be in jeopardy when you're stepping out on the Rugby World Cup.

Sportswear brand Asics dropped Folau's contract over the issue, CNN said in a separate story.

"ASICS is dedicated to sport and its healthy contribution to society".

The hits keep coming for Israel Folau, with ASICS ditching the fallen Wallabies superstar as an ambassador.

Israel Folau reportedly refused to show remorse or delete his social media posts at his code of conduct hearing.

"For any strong Australian brand or organisation, you've got to stand for what you are and with rugby, it's the pillars of integrity and respect and teamwork and the inclusiveness we champion", Mitchell said.

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