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Australia head coach Michael Cheika says he received dangers from Israel Folau’s controversial social media article amid the fallout.
The 30-year-old devout Christian had his contract terminated by Rugby Australia in April for composing”hell expects” homosexual people.
Full-back Folau, who won 73 caps, is now suing the regulating body, asserting his contract has been unlawfully ended.
“People were saying all kinds of things,” Cheika said.
“Merely threats I had been getting; people on the street, a few to my head, a couple at a few matches. It was simply crazy stuff.”
Folau – who is seeking #5.6m (AU $10m) in compensation, an apology along with a return into the federal side – escaped penalty for similar anti-gay remarks last calendar year.
The side of cheika, whose, said the governing body needed to behave in the greatest interests of the team.
Before Folau’s sacking in April, Cheika stated he”would not be in a position to” select him, adding”the team is king”.
“I am not disappointed at the individual [Folau] because if that is what he believes, and that’s where his enthusiasm is, I won’t ever tell a person to conceal it,” he added in the Sydney Morning Herald.
“I would not agree with everyone, but I would never need someone to not say what they feel. I’m no person to judge.
“The other disappointing part is that we lost one of our finest players; a man who I helped come back. I wouldn’t say I am accountable for what has occurred. It’s just life. But I needed to do exactly what was needed for the team.”
Cheika denied claims the Wallabies camp had been split following Folau’s sacking but revealed team meetings were held so as to move forward.
“Of course, we needed to tackle it,” he explained. “We spoke about it in smallish circles, then one on one, after which from the team surroundings together, so everyone was clear about what had been going on.
“Then we got on with business, which is representing Australia from footy. That’s what we’re here to perform.”
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