Nick Farr-Jones says Wallabies need Israel Folau for World Cup
Wallabies legend Nick Farr-Jones has called on Rugby Australia to rethink their decision to sack Israel Folau.
Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle issued Folau with a breach of conduct notice for the controversial comments which caused a major stir on social media.
The decision has divided a host of former players and experts as well as the public over whether Folau’s views should cost him his job.
Folau has since responded to the breach notice – requesting the matter be referred to a Code of Conduct hearing.
A World Cup winning captain and veteran of 63 Test caps – Farr-Jones believes his beliefs should not cost him his rugby union career.
“I see no reason why not, we all make mistakes,” Farr-Jones said.
“I think Michael Cheika’s been way too premature in relation to all this.
“Does he realise he’s got two other selectors? Does he realise or has he consulted Scott Johnson who’s just come into the fold who I think Cheika reports too, has he consulted with Michael O’Connor in relation to this?
“If I was Raelene Castle, I’d be calling Cheika into my office and be saying this isn’t resolved yet.
“How on earth can you make that comment?
“I think Cheika has come out way too early and if I was Castle I’d be halling him in and ask how can you say that? Do you have the authority to say that and where does it leave Israel in the event that he is successful and is brought back into the team?
“I can tell you as far as our hopes in the Rugby World Cup you need someone like that.”
Folau was previously warned by the organisation’s bosses after a similar incident a year back.
The highest try-scorer in Super Rugby history and 73 Test Wallaby signed a new four-year deal with New South Wales and Australian Rugby in February.
However, former Wallaby Cameron Shepherd isn’t on the same page as Farr-Jones on the back of Folau’s “selfish” actions.
“For me out of this whole thing what’s come across is just his selfishness,” Shepherd said.
“He hasn’t once said ‘I apologise for the pressure its put on Australia as a nation or the pressure it’s put on my teammates’.
“I don’t think he cares, that’s been the most disappointing aspect about this whole situation.”