Israel Folau

Folau set for a break

Folau had the opportunity to play club rugby in Japan over the summer as part of his flexible contract with the Australian Rugby Union.

But after a discussion with Cheika several months ago, the 28-year-old fullback decided it was in his best interests to step away from the game completely - meaning he won't be involved in the Wallabies' test matches against Japan, Wales, England and Scotland to finish the season.

Before taking a break, Folau will suit up for the Wallabies against the Barbarians at Sydney's Allianz Stadium on Saturday night. 

Cheika defends Folau's right to voice views

Folau sparked a Twitter backlash by revealing he will not support gay marriage, becoming the first high-profile sportsperson to have publicly announced their opposition.

It came after numerous sporting organisations -- including the Australian Rugby Union -- declared their support for a 'yes' vote in the government's postal survey.

Folau's views are also at odds with outspoken former Test skipper David Pocock while current captain Michael Hooper has also voiced his support for gay marriage this week.

Wallabies star cops backlash for gay marriage tweet

Folau tweeted: "I love and respect all people for who they are and their opinions. but personally, I will not support gay marriage."

He was immediately inundated with dozens of replies criticising him for his stance.

Folau is believed to be the first high-profile sportsperson to have publicly announced their opposition to same-sex marriage.

It comes after numerous sporting organisations - including the Australian Rugby Union, the NRL, Cricket Australia and Football Federation Australia - declared their support for a 'yes' vote in the government's postal survey.

Wallabies need to strike attacking balance

Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau will be reunited on Saturday night, and it didn’t take much for the fullback to show exactly why Beale’s return is so anticipated by Australia.

One of Australia’s most prolific Test finishers can’t wait to have his Waratahs teammate back,  just for the flow-on of confidence the utility has in a side.

“You grow that extra leg when you know you have him beside you. He brings a lot more confidence to your game and it’s exciting,” Folau said.

“Guys like KB they don’t come around too often.

Folau's rugby league flashbacks paying off

He can understand the frustration but strongly believes that it's only a matter of time before the Wallabies produce some high quality rugby.

"Personally, I didn't have a read (of Quigley's post)," he said.

"Only because I believe in the group that we have here and the team that we have, the coaching staff and all the work that goes in.

"I just think personally, as well, I'm sure he's a great guy but everyone is always going to have an opinion - whether that's good or bad.

Folau found peace, but depression and suicide still stalk young rugby players

He and fellow player Manu Vatuvei are the faces on the posters for the Road to Redemption tour, which ends in Auckland on Thursday night.

Kaniva New reports born to Tongan parents in New South Wales, Folau played rugby league for the Melbourne Storm in the Australia National Rugby League from 2007 to 2008 and for the Brisbane Broncos from 2009 to 2010.