Michael Cheika has revealed fans personally threatened him after he ruled out selecting controversial fullback Israel Folau in the wake of his anti-gay social media posts.
Folau is embroiled in a bitter legal dispute with Rugby Australia after his multi-million-dollar contract was terminated following his controversial social media post in April stating homosexuals were destined for hell unless they repented their sins.
The saga caused a rift among rugby fans and following Cheika’s decision not to select Folau even if he kept his Rugby Australia contract, the Wallabies coach started receiving personal threats from staunch supporters of the embattled star.
‘People were saying all sorts of stuff. Just threats I was getting from people on the street, some to my face, a couple at some games. It was just crazy stuff,’ Cheika revealed.
He added that he was disappointed the saga had cost the Wallabies its best player, but that he was left with little choice to leave Folau out.
‘The other disappointing part is that we lost one of our best players, a guy who I helped come back. I wouldn’t say I’m responsible for what’s happened. It’s just life. But I had to do what was needed for the team.’