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Gay rugby union club Brisbane Hustlers back David Pocock's stance on homophobia

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Brisbane's gay rugby union club, the Brisbane Hustlers, has applauded David Pocock's stance on homophobic slurs.

ACT Brumbies flanker Pocock complained to referee Craig Joubert about the use of a homophobic slur by a NSW Waratahs player in their clash on Sunday.

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Gay rugby players back David Pocock's stance against homophobic slurs, saying they push people "further back into the closet".

Waratahs forward Jaques Potgieter owned up to using the term, was fined $20,000 by the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) and agreed to undergo an education program.

Pocock's actions have attracted criticism from some, with suggestions his outspoken views could prevent him from regaining the Wallabies captaincy.

Darren Hegarty, coach of the Brisbane Hustlers, said Pocock's actions were vital to help stamp out casual homophobia.

"It's really important that we have leaders in our community broadly and in high profile sporting teams that have that moral position that they're prepared to speak up when they hear that sort of thing," he said.


"He's received some criticism in the media but I think that it's critical that people are prepared to lead on these types of issues."

Hustlers captain Martin Tebbutt said the issue could not be ignored and was pleased with the dealing of the situation.

"How detrimental would that be if he was standing next to the ref and started using homophobic slurs against one of the players and it was broadcast over the TV coverage?," he said.

"I think that it's happened at such a high profile level is another reminder to many players out there who I don't think are homophobic but would use that term because they're used to it."

"The fact that the player owned it and said, 'look this was my mistake it won't happen again. I've got to do everything to make sure it's fixed,' I thought it was the best thing to come out of it."

Tebbutt said while he didn't believe homophobia was a widespread issue in rugby, leaving these comments unreported could be hugely detrimental.

"When it's a repeated offence...I'm sure the players on the field said, 'Hey, you can't say that'," he said.

"It's the same as if anyone was racist out there you know the other players would call them up first and for whatever reason if in the heat of battle it's happened again it's raised (with the ref)."

"I don't think a bigger deal was made of it than what was needed but I also think it's one of those things if it's not reported does it then reinforce that behaviour," he said.

Tebbutt said his side rarely experienced homophobic slurs while playing.

"I've been pleasantly surprised that it's not something I hear regularly at all," he said.

"I don't hear it as often any more and I think that goes to show that a lot more conscious of it."

The ARU was a signatory of the Anti-Homophobia and Inclusion Framework signed in August last year.

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