An Australian journalist has shared claims that Wallabies staff believed Israel Folau was looking for a way out of life as a professional sportsman.

Folau was officially sacked from his multi-million dollar contract with Rugby Australia during the week over social media posts that hit out against gay and transgender people.

Many assume the cross-code footballer will look to continue his sporting career in some form in the future, however Sydney Morning Herald chief sports writer Andrew Webster has suggested otherwise.

Speaking on Channel Nine's Sports Sunday, Webster said the former Wallabies fullback had grown tired after more than a decade in professional sport.

Advertisement

"People within the Wallabies set-up are certain that a lot of this is driven by the fact that he's just had enough," Webster said.

"He's been playing professional sport [from] the age of 17, when he debuted for the Melbourne Storm. He's played three different codes, and they seem to think that the way that he has acted and the way that he was just such a renegade with this last social media post after what happened exactly a year ago, suggests to them in the Wallabies set-up that he just doesn't want to play professional sport any more. It's also his beliefs; he's dug in for that."

Folau made his NRL debut in 2007 with the Melbourne Storm and spent four years between the Melbourne side and the Brisbane Broncos before leaving the NRL behind for the world of Aussie Rules.

Playing for the Greater Western Sydney Giants in 2011 and 2012, Folau struggled to find his footing in the sport and soon turned his attention to rugby.

Linking up with the Waratahs in 2013, he quickly made his mark and debuted for the Wallabies in the same year.

Israel Folau has been part of the Wallabies system since 2013. Photo / Getty Images
Israel Folau has been part of the Wallabies system since 2013. Photo / Getty Images

Folau has been Australia's fullback in 63 of the 92 Tests that have taken place since he first made his debut in 2013, with the Wallabies now left with a big problem to replace their fired star.

Coach Michael Cheika last year used Dane Haylett-Petty throughout the the Rugby Championship and against Wales in the autumn, with the Melbourne Rebels back seeming to be the best option.

Other candidates include Haylett-Petty's teammate at the Rebels, Reece Hodge, and in-form Brumbies fullback Tom Banks.

Kurtley Beale could also revert to fullback, where he has not started a Test for Austrlalia since the 2017 defeat at Murrayfield against Scotland.

- With the Daily Telegraph