Folau at loggerheads with long-time manager

First it was donors, then a major sponsor, and now Israel Folau's relationship with one of his longest-serving allies is on the rocks as the controversial dual international's day of reckoning draws near.

As Folau and Rugby Australia brace for an expected mid-week announcement on his penalty for inflammatory anti-gay social media posts, it can be revealed Folau has all but turned his back on long-time manager Isaac Moses.

Israel Folau has reportedly fallen out with long-time manager Isaac Moses. Picture: AAP

Israel Folau has reportedly fallen out with long-time manager Isaac Moses. Picture: AAP

Moses is one of the most powerful player agents in Australian professional sport, representing a slew of high-profile rugby league players and coaches including Cameron Smith, James Tedesco, Mitchell Moses and Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Seibold.

He also counts rugby stars Kurtley Beale and Will Skelton among his clients but has represented Folau since he was 14 years old, shepherding him through a successful career across three professional football codes.

Now that relationship has cooled. Neither party could be reached for comment on Monday but it's understood while Moses is still Folau's agent, the pair fell out over Folau's most recent posts and his refusal to talk to anyone at the Waratahs or RA in the aftermath. Complicating matters is that Folau has also grown close to Moses's former business partner Joe Wehbe, who has launched court action against Moses over a financial dispute. Folau's solicitor, Ramy Qatami, is acting for Wehbe in the Supreme Court case.

But the pair's most recent disagreement flared up when Folau on April 10 made an Instagram post warning homosexuals, among other so-called "sinners", would go to hell. Against Moses's advice, Folau refused to modify the post or remove it, and went to ground in a repeat of the events of his first controversial posts last April.

It's understood Folau ignored two home visits from RA welfare officers and didn't return the calls of Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, NSW coach Daryl Gibson, RA chief executive Raelene Castle or Waratahs boss Andrew Hore. It was a slap in the face for two organisations that went to great lengths, under fierce scrutiny, to reach an accord with him after last year's controversy.

Folau lost the financial support of the wealthy Salteri family and an endorsement from Jaguar Landrover over his first round of posts, but in October last year inked a new four-year deal, brokered by Moses, with Rugby Australia and the Waratahs.

Last month's Instagram post cost him his last major sponsor, Asics, which had stood by him in 2018.

At Folau's code of conduct hearing last week, Moses was nowhere to be seen, with Qatami and Maria Folau appearing in support of the 73-Test fullback, along with Folau's barrister Adam Casselden SC.

Wehbe was not there, but insiders say the man dubbed the "football whisperer" is a key confidant of Folau's. He has also been linked heavily to Tedesco, Parramatta's Tim Mannah and Nathan Brown, Sharks prop Aaron Woods and Manly star Daly Cherry-Evans. His influence may be growing stronger in football circles but it pales in comparison to the role of religion in Folau's life. The three-time John Eales Medalist and 2018 Matt Burke Cup winner plays an active role in the Truth of Jesus Christ Church his father Eni Folau set up in Sydney, and the family has also started up a congregation under the same name in Brisbane.

Folau has also recruited Waratahs second-rower Le Roux Roets to the church, with the young South African recently filmed receiving a baptism by Folau's younger brother John, who is also at the Waratahs. Roets also gave a "testimony" at the church on Sunday.

This story Folau at loggerheads with long-time manager first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.