Israel Folau: Australians divided as they digest Wallabies star's guilty ruling

Australian Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi is staggered that Wallabies star Israel Folau is being potentially sacked over a quote.

Folau's future in Australian rugby is looking increasingly grim after an independent panel determined he had committed a "high level" breach of the professional players' code of conduct.

While Folau has been found guilty of misconduct, no sanction has yet been handed down following his controversial social media posts about homosexuals and other sinners.

"I find it extraordinary that quoting from the best-selling book in the history of the world is a breach of contract," Bernardi said on Sky News Australia.

"There was no hate in that at all. He's just upset a bloke who runs an airline like a kingdom," Bernardi added in reference to the Wallabies jersey sponsor Qantas.

Former Wallabies coach Alan Jones continued his support of Folau in an interview on Sky News, saying: "Israel Folau is in trouble for uttering four of the most immortal words in civilisation's history; 'I am a Christian'. They say they [Rugby Australia] believe in diversity but instead, they want uniformity."

But as Australia digested the ruling, the divisive nature of this extraordinary case continued to rumble.

"We've seen one of the most significant moments of the sporting century in Australia, in that a powerhouse rugby union player who is Australia's best player heading into a World Cup, will be banished from the game, probably for good," Australian rugby writer Robert Craddock said on The Back Page on Fox Sports.

"It is a decision that will echo through generations – it is a huge story and if you think the bushfire is burning now, wait until you see the follow up in the next few days."

Fellow panelist Kelli Underwood was bemused by Folau's rejection of a reported $1m settlement offer as he battled to save his four-year, $4m contract, seemingly against the odds.

"Why would he not take that money?" Underwood, an award-winning Australian TV sports presenter said.

"Either he's greedy and he thought he had a good chance at $4 million or he's trying to be a martyr.

"It's so highly offensive and what it does to young kids who are confused and trying to find out more about themselves — it just sends such a horrible message."

Australian media personality Ed Kavalee continued that theme, saying: "This is the most expensive social media post of all-time. It's cost Israel $4 million."

What punishment is now handed out will be fascinating.

Had the panel deemed Folau's breach of Rugby Australia's players' code of conduct anything less than "high level", the governing body would not have had the power to boot the three-times John Eales Medallist out of the game.

Other lesser sanctions the 30-year-old now faces include suspension and/or a fine.

The sanction is not expected to be handed down for several days, with RA not offering a timeline on any decision, but inviting written submissions from the parties.

Folau also has the right of appeal.