An openly-gay rugby league reporter has taken a shot at Rugby Australia's response to his coverage of Israel Folau.

Fairfax's Andrew Webster said he was more upset by being told by "certain figures at Rugby Australia" he was "only writing about this because you're gay" than the anti-gay messages Folau has posted to Instagram.

"It's hard for me to talk about, because it's quite personal," Webster told Nine's Sports Sunday.

"When Israel Folau posts something like that, I couldn't care less. It doesn't hurt me, because if I allow myself to be hurt by something like that, then I'll go insane. I'll have to live in a cave.


"It would have hurt the 17-year-old me for sure and that's why I agree with them (Rugby Australia) being so tough on him.

"But when you're on the end of real homophobia, really, really tough stuff, which I have been in the last few years since I've been out in my job ... what Israel Folau says doesn't hurt me.

"What I get upset about is when I write about it, and when I wrote about it a year ago, when certain figures at Rugby Australia said, 'You're only writing about this because you're gay'. Now that's homophobia, and that pisses me off."

A year after causing headaches for his employer with controversial religious messages, Folau now faces the sack after doubling down on his stance.

While supporting RA's action, Webster drew a line at the personal abuse being heaped on the 30-year-old.

"I don't agree with belting the absolute hell out of Israel Folau. I don't believe he deserves to be bullied," Webster said.

"I just think he's saying what he honestly believes. I don't think there's any malice in it. I don't believe it's right and I don't believe he should say it, but I don't think we should be sitting there and taking the absolute mickey out of his religion, as much as we don't like it."