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Chris Henry: Why Folau deserves to be dropped by Australia over dangerous posts

Israel Folau
Israel Folau
Chris Henry

By Chris Henry

We always say rugby is a game for everyone and that's why I fully agree with the Australian Rugby Union in their decision to cut ties with the supremely talented Israel Folau.

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It seems certain now that we won't be seeing Folau in the green and gold again after posting that "hell awaits" homosexuals on his social media accounts.

Everyone is entitled to their opinions and beliefs but when you see what I would describe as hate being spread by someone in such a position, it can only be called what it is - dangerous.

There's a certain responsibility that comes with not just representing your country or province but in being someone who can rightly claim to be one of the best rugby players in the world.

Imagine the scenario of a young teenager struggling with their mental health logging on to Twitter and seeing that sort of message coming from someone so high-profile and so talented. As I say, dangerous.

His national captain David Pocock is someone who has done so much good work to promote inclusivity throughout the game as well as in wider society so it's hard to imagine how divisive his presence would now be in his own changing room let alone to the country he'd be representing.

In purely rugby terms, who'd want to be Michael Cheika this morning?

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It's been tough going for the Wallabies since the last World Cup almost four years ago now and it's coming close to being make or break time for that group of players.

Whether it be Dan Leavy or Damian McKenzie, we've already seen some big names ruled out of the World Cup through injury but imagine losing a player of Folau's ability and importance for the tournament over something as avoidable as social media usage, something by all accounts the player had already been warned over.

The reasons behind why he won't be there aside, any team would miss his talent and Australia's task out in Japan just got even tougher.

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