Israel Folau has hit back at rugby bosses for trying to silence him in the row over his homophobic social media posts that today led to him being cut from the sport in Australia.
Rugby Australia today tore up his $4m contract with the Wallabies and Waratahs over the social media post saying all homosexuals will burn in hell.
This evening Folau said he was "saddened" by the decision and was still deciding his next move.
But he refused to apologise or back down on his views and airing them the way he did.
In a statement this evening, he added: “It has been a privilege and an honour to represent Australia and my home state of New South Wales, playing the game I love.
"I am deeply saddened by today’s decision to terminate my employment and I am considering my options.
"As Australians, we are born with certain rights, including the right to freedom of religion and the right to freedom of expression.
"The Christian faith has always been a part of my life and I believe it is my duty as a Christian to share God’s word. Upholding my religious beliefs should not prevent my ability to work or play for my club and country.
"I would like to thank my wife Maria for her love and encouragement to stay true to our beliefs. We have been humbled by the support we have received from family, friends, players, fans and the wider community.
"Thank you also to those who have spoken out in my defence, some of whom do not share my beliefs but have defended my right to express them.”