Wallabies Boss Michael Cheika Has His Say On The Israel Folau Saga

Find a new idol.

Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika has admitted fans will likely turn away from Israel Folau as a role model, after a string of homophobic religious posts.

The Waratahs fullback has come under fire in recent weeks for the homophobic posts on social media. But has refused to back down on his beliefs despite meetings with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU).

Asked what his message would be to a young homosexual rugby fan who may idolise Folau, Cheika said support systems and learning to ‘detach’ from such messages was the key.

“The self-esteem in people, no matter who they are, is extremely important,” he said on Fox Sports’ Kick & Chase programme.

“Self-belief, self-esteem, and if that’s something you don’t agree with, you detach from that.

“The way it’ll be (is), ‘He’s no longer my idol’, effects like that.

“There’s been a lot made of that but I believe it’s something – self-esteem is so important – and us as parents and as coaches, even when players are getting the same in return, nasty messages, social media, it’s about trying to build self-belief in them so you’re not affected by those things.

“Because you don’t want people to get affected by that stuff, that is 100 percent clear.

“It’s not up to the kid, it’s the parents around, the others around, that’s what you’ve got to do.

“You’ve got to protect those kids, from everything that’s out there, there’s other things out there you might not like (too).”