Rugby Australia's new director of rugby has opened up about a big frustration over the on-going Israel Folau saga.
It's been a month since Folau's homophobic Instagram post dragged rugby and the wider sporting world into a heated debate and everyone's waiting to see what his penalty will be after an independent three-person panel found the fullback guilty of a high-level breach in a code of conduct hearing.
Scott Johnson, who began his role as Rugby Australia's director of rugby a month ago, said the Folau saga has taken the gloss off on-field performances.
"That's the disappointing thing," Johnson told Fox Sports. "Last week probably epitomised it for me, where we had such a successful under-20s campaign in defeating New Zealand for the first time in such a long period, the Brumbies had a good come-from-behind win and rugby's not spoken about.
"That's the most frustrating thing and everything appears to be negative or a slant by an individual or a comment about the individual."
Johnson also revealed he's spoken to Queensland's Taniela Tupou, a staunch supporter of Folau who last week posted on social media: "Might as well sack me and all the other Pacific Islands rugby players around the world because we have the same Christian beliefs."
Johnson said he talked to a number of players about the issue.
"I've spoken to a few of them (Polynesian players) to make sure, first and foremost, that they're OK because as I keep saying we're in a people's business and you've got to get to know people," Johnson told Fox Sports.
"It's important and we're an inclusive game and they're a big part of our culture and our rugby culture, and we don't want to make it divisive.
"But what I've come across is that we're respectful both ways, and they're paid to play rugby and I think they understand that."