Israel Folau saga: Australia's first gay rugby club says comments are offensive

Australia's first gay and inclusive rugby club has broken its silence on Israel Folau's controversial social media comments.

 As the Wallabies and Waratahs star's code of conduct hearing with Rugby Australia (RA) continues on Tuesday, the Sydney Convicts have condemned his comments as offensive.

Folau took to Instagram to proclaim "hell awaits drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators" unless they repent and turn to Jesus.

Convicts club president Don Rose, who says he grew up worshipping the Wallabies as he was grappling with his own sexuality, told ABC News the entire rugby community wants the Folau situation to be dealt with so it can move on.

"There are so many great things happening in our sport – there is a process but the sooner we can move on the better, and talk about the things we should be," Rose told ABC News.

"The comments are offensive," he said.

"For a lot of us, part of confronting your sexuality is moving away from rugby, because rugby and contact sports are hyper-masculine environments and a lot of people who come out of the closet feel like those two worlds are irreconcilable."

The Sydney Convicts have previously been hesitant to comment on Folau's views but the club now fears the damage has already been done.

"As a proud gay man who's been a rugby supporter my entire life and a kid who idolised the Wallabies, there's a danger those comments could have really severe effects on kids' mental wellbeing," Rose told ABC News.

"There's still homophobic language and slurs that occur and when people you look up to are saying things completely contrary to [being inclusive], that really slows down and impedes the process.

"At the end of the day it's what we do on the pitch - it's the rugby that speaks," Rose told ABC News.

"Our club's purpose is to play really strong and competitive rugby, but it's as much about making our players better on the field as it is becoming better men," Rose said.

Andrew Purchas, who founded the Sydney Convicts – a team that has played in the suburban Sydney club competition for 15 years – told ABC News the ARU's reaction reflected "the seriousness of [Folau's] comments and the potential damage caused to so many people".

Purchas, who also founded the Pride in Sport index, which helps sporting organisations to support the same-sex attraction and gender diversity, told ABC News the majority of the rugby community was largely accepting.

"If you have a same-sex attraction and are a rugby lover or want to play you shouldn't take any notice of Folau's comments and never let that in any way prevent you from playing the game."