Israel Folau's Waratahs and Wallabies teammate Nick Phipps has praised Rugby Australia for taking swift action over the star's homophobic social media post.
Folau has been stood down by the Waratahs for their Super Rugby match against the Reds this weekend and he has two days to respond or face the sack after being served with a breach notice by Rugby Australia over his controversial Instagram post that said: "Warning. Drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolators. Hell awaits you. Repent! Only Jesus saves."
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Waratahs captain Phipps said the furore has been a distraction for the players but is pleased with how RA has handled the situation.
"It's obviously a distraction," the halfback said. "It's been going on for nearly two weeks now and the fact that there was such a big press conference yesterday about it, it's not too far from all the boys' vision every day.
"To be honest though, professional footy players, we're quite lucky that the decision's been made.
"There's due course that's going on now and we know he won't be ready for this weekend so we've got to focus on getting ourselves right.
"It was good that there was a united stand between RA and NSW Rugby here.
"It was good that it was nice and swiftly dealt with and gives us the opportunity to just move forward as quickly as possible and for the process to run its course.
"Rather than let it drag on for ages it gives the boys a bit of clarity about what's going to happen and we can adjust from there."
Phipps said it will be tough to deal with the loss of someone as talented as Folau but is confident the Waratahs have enough depth to cover for the fullback/winger.
RA CEO Raelene Castle said the RA integrity unit had deemed Folau had committed a "high level" breach of the players' code of conduct which warranted termination of his contract.
Asked if Folau was being punished for his religious beliefs, Castle said: "This is not a religious discussion, this is a discussion around the employee-employer relationship."
Castle said Folau had been unapologetic about the posts and his stance when she met with him last Friday.
"That left us with no option but to move forward to the position that we've taken," Castle said. "He had been warned, formally and repeatedly about social media expectations after he made similar posts about a year ago.
"It was made clear to Israel in writing and verbally when I met with him last year that any social media posts or commentary that in any way were disrespectful to people because of their sexuality would result in disciplinary action.
"Despite this Israel has chosen to ignore this warning."