In this June 25, 2016, photo Australian rugby union player Israel Folau points to the sky after scoring a try against England during their rugby union test match in Sydney. Folau, one of the sport’s top players, published a message on his Instagram account that said “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolators. Hell awaits you.” (Rick Rycroft/Associated Press)

SYDNEY — Rugby Australia said Wednesday that Wallabies and New South Wales fullback Israel Folau has requested a Code of Conduct hearing over his possible dismissal for making anti-gay comments on social media.

Folau responded to Rugby Australia’s breach notice issued to him on Monday in relation to his Instagram post on April 10 when he made references to homosexuals going to hell unless they repented. He had made similar posts last year and was warned but not sanctioned.

Rugby Australia said it will make arrangements with the Rugby Union Players’ Association to help organize the Code of Conduct hearing. Rugby Australia said last week it plans to terminate Folau’s contract because of the comments.

“Israel has responded formally today to request a Code of Conduct hearing which, under the circumstances, was not an unexpected outcome,” Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle said. “We will now work to confirm a date for the hearing as soon as possible ... and make no further comment on the matter.”

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