Israel Folau has been seen in public for the first time since making anti-gay comments that have effectively ended his Australian rugby career.

Rugby Australia (RA) released a statement saying it plans to terminate the Wallabies star's contract after he sparked controversy by posting a message on Instagram declaring "hell awaits" homosexuals unless they repent for their "sins".

Folau was spotted at a cafe in Sydney's eastern suburbs with his wife Maria and two other men.

The 30-year-old was asked by reporters if he had any regrets over the comments, to which he replied "no" before getting into a car and driving away, reports 7News.


Folau's appearance comes after it was revealed RA had tried to contact Folau and his representatives in the wake of the scandal, only for phone calls to go unreturned.

Folau has been slammed for his comments as sports stars, sponsors and even New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took aim at the Waratahs flyer.

"Obviously at a personal level I clearly don't agree with what he said, and (I'm) very mindful of the fact that he is for many a role model. He's a person in a position of influence and I think that with that comes responsibility," Ardern said.

"I'm particularly mindful of young people who are members of our rainbow community, there is a lot of vulnerability there. As I say, I totally disagree with what he's said and the way he's using his platform."

Wallabies major sponsor Qantas, who threatened to pull its sponsorship last year following a series of provocative posts from Folau, also hit out over his latest post.

Sport Australia boss Kate Palmer commended Rugby Australia's strong stance against discrimination and vilification and urged all sports to follow suit. She says RA's plan to tear up Folau's multimillion-dollar contract is a big step to ensuring safer sporting environments for all Australians.

"Discrimination is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated in any sport or recreation environment, at whatever level," Palmer said.

"Everyone is entitled to their own views but expressing divisive and discriminatory beliefs is harmful to sport and the broader Australian community.


"When people of influence use their public profiles to demean and discriminate, we cannot allow such divisive comments to go unchecked.

"As a sporting industry, we must stand together and call out against any form of discrimination whether it is based on sexuality, race, gender or disability."

While speculation mounts as to the next step in Folau's sporting career, the NRL has put to bed any suggestions he will return to the code where he first made a name for himself.

ARLC chairman Peter Beattie said the dual international failed the character test and the league would not register a contract.

"Israel Folau fails the NRL's inclusiveness culture, which is a policy strongly supported by the ARLC," Beattie told AAP. "The ARLC therefore would not support his registration to play NRL."

Folau played 91 matches for Melbourne and Brisbane as well as eight State of Origins and eight Tests before switching to the AF Land rugby union.