Under fire Wallabies star Israel Folau has offered an explanation for his controversial social media posts, saying he listed homosexuals among a group of 'sinners destined for hell' because 'God spoke to him.'
While speaking with his church congregation on Sunday, Folau explained he had resisted opportunities to settle things with Rugby Australia, who are currently determining the 30-year old's future in the green and gold, because he believed it was 'Satan's work.'
Folau also revealed he had told the Rugby Australia panel that a message from God was what inspired the inflammatory posts last month when he fronted a disciplinary hearing last week in Sydney.
"There have been many opportunities to potentially make the situation a little bit easier. I could go back and play the game, get everything back to the way it used to be," he said.
"The way Satan works is he offers you stuff that could look good to the eye and makes you feel comfortable, and if you follow that path all the worries and troubles will go away. [But] it is always the will of God that comes first."
The Sydney Morning Herald confirmed that Folau had rejected an offer from Rugby Australia to enter settlement talks prior to the hearing, later stating that he was willing to front a low-level breach due to his posts offending some players and fans.
But given Folau's lack of refusal to take down the post and concession that he may make similar comments in future, it's likely the Waratahs star's four-year multi-million dollar contract will be terminated under a high-level breach of the code of conduct.
An appeal from Folau remains a likely scenario, which could further extend the saga if a second panel were to be assembled.
Yesterday, Rugby Australia's new director of rugby opened up about the biggest frustration over the on-going issue.
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."
The three-person panel is expected to reach a decision on Tuesday or Wednesday, regarding the penalty.