Israel Folau's impending sacking from the Waratahs after his anti-gay social media outburst could inadvertently benefit his younger brother John.
24-year-old winger John Folau is yet to make his debut for the Waratahs after jumping codes from the Parramatta Eels in the NRL
However, with the team's backline disrupted thanks to the expected termination of Israel's contract by Rugby Australia and the New South Wales Rugby Union, John looks set to get a call-up sooner rather than later, having sat on the bench during their shock loss to the Sunwolves last month.
John – who is also deeply religious like his brother – was not named in the squad to face the Rebels on Saturday, but his Waratahs teammates have rallied around him in training after the controversy surrounding Israel.
"You can go around and have a laugh with him [John], have a joke, just let him know it's not awkward, it's no refection on him," said Waratahs captain Nick Phipps.
"He's also a very passionate Christian man and we fully respect that, but for him we just want him to feel comfortable in his place at work."
Phipps said the saga hasn't impacted John but admitted the off-field drama has affected the team as a whole.
"It's obviously a distraction, it's been going on for nearly two weeks now," he said on Tuesday.
"The fact that there was such a such a huge press conference about it yesterday … it was not too far from our vision every day."
According to Fox Sports Australia, the Folau brothers also featured in a recent video showing John performing a baptism on Waratahs teammate Le Roux Roets in Israel's backyard.
The video reportedly shows Israel standing in the background while John immerses the Tahs lock in the water.
It highlights the sensitive environment around the team as the fallout from Israel's comments continues.