Israel Folau and his team have rubbished a recent report on the nature of the family’s church, calling it ‘disappointing’ and ‘inaccurate’.
The Sydney Morning Herald detailed some of the teachings espoused by the Truth of Jesus Christ Church on Saturday, including the belief of Folau’s father, Pastor Eni, that anyone not baptised in accordance with the church’s own teachings was going to hell.
Folau’s cousin Josiah also labelled Roman Catholicism ‘masked devil worship’.
The SMH report centred around comments made by a parent whose child had attended some of the church’s sermons.
The parent said the church’s beliefs existed ‘well outside mainstream Christianity’, while Reverend Neil Ericksson, form the Uniting Church in Lindfield, likened Folau’s church to a ‘sect’.
A spokesman for Folau and his family hit back on Monday, suggesting the parent quoted by the SMH was working in concert with Rugby Australia.
“The story carried a number of factual inaccuracies which could have been avoided," the spokesperson said.
“The story appears to be based predominantly on quotes from a single anonymous source who has been acting in concert with Rugby Australia.
“Any suggestion that Israel would stand in judgment of another person is incorrect."
Wallabies struggle in first match without Folau
Life without Israel Folau has begun in disastrous fashion for the Wallabies, thrashed 35-17 by South Africa.
Two blown tries and a controversial yellow card meant the Wallabies again left Ellis Park empty-handed in their Rugby Championship opener - their first match without Folau.
Australia were looking for their first win in Johannesburg since 1963 and with the Springboks fielding a weakened side on Saturday night, had a golden opportunity.
But despite some strong individual performances, again they fell short.
‘ISOLATED HATE GROUP’: Disturbing new claims about Israel Folau's church
Springboks livewire halfback Herschel Jantjies scored a try in each half in a memorable Test debut.
The Wallabies were in the hunt early but the two missed tries in the first half proved crucial.