The Australian rugby union authorities have ended Israel Folau’s contract over a social media post in which he said “hell awaits” gay people.
He has 48 hours to accept the sanction or face a code of conduct hearing.
Rugby Australia said the 30-year-old “had committed a high-level breach of the Professional Players’ Code of Conduct warranting termination of his employment contract”.
The Waratahs player has won 73 caps for Australia.
He was expected to play at this year’s World Cup.
Folau, who signed a four-year deal with the Waratahs in March and had a deal with Rugby Australia until 2022, escaped punishment for similar comments last year.
Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle said: “Israel was warned formally and repeatedly about the expectations of him as player for the Wallabies and NSW Waratahs with regards to social media use and he has failed to meet those obligations.
“It was made clear to him that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people because of their sexuality will result in disciplinary action.”
More to follow