England worldwide Billy Vunipola has offered a defence of Israel Folau's latest controversial social media posts.
Vunipola "liked" Folau's initial post which was captioned, "those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent".
"Some of the comments which have been seen are far closer to hateful than I think appropriate for what people should be doing on social media".
Less than 24 hours after Rugby Australia (RA) said "in the absence of compelling mitigating factors" Folau's contract would be terminated, the 30-year old met with RA boss Raelene Castle and the New South Wales (NSW) Rugby Union.
Israel Folau of the Waratahs warms up during the round seven Super Rugby match between the Waratahs and the Sunwolves at McDonald Jones Stadium on March 29, 2019 in Newcastle, Australia.
Folau maintained a stony silence after earlier holding crisis talks amid RA's threat to tear up his multi-million-dollar contract following his latest attacks on homosexuals. "We are committed - with the RFU - to keeping rugby in England inclusive and some of the highlighted social media posts over the last day or so are in opposition to this", Premiership Rugby said.
It was touted that North Queensland could be interested in his services after Ben Barba received a life ban and they missed out on Valentine Holmes, who's in the United States pursuing his National Football League dream.
What started as a rugby scandal in Australia exploded into a much wider and deeper issue yesterday, particularly in England, one which threatens the ideals and values that the game professes to stand by.
Andrew Webster has spoken out amid the Israel Folau saga, offering an incredibly classy response to the rugby star's homophobic comments. We want to make it clear that he does not speak for the game with his recent social media posts.
"But that's why I believe there's a God".
"Following today's meeting the two organisations will update their respective boards on the matter to consider next steps".
"As the meeting was held in confidence between the player and his employers, Rugby Australia and the NSW Rugby Union will not comment on the discussions at the meeting", the bodies said in a statement.
Folau also posted similar comments a year ago, for which he was not sanctioned by RA, although he did acknowledge he had caused "grief to some people".