Hansen ยกย่องการเรียกร้องให้ RFU ชูธงความภาคภูมิใจท่ามกลางการเลือกของ Folau
Steve Hansen has praised the Rugby Football Union’s decision to raise the Pride flag above Twickenham on Sunday.
World XV coach Hansen says the stance is a “positive consequence” of his controversial selection of Israel Folau against the Barbarians.
Folau, 34, was sacked by Rugby Australia (RA) in 2019 for making anti-gay social media posts.
“They [the RFU] wouldn’t be flying the flag if he [Folau] wasn’t [selected],” Hansen told BBC Sport.
“The flag is being brought to the attention of people, and the awareness of why it is there is to support the people that are judged and treated poorly because of who they are.
“They deserve to be loved and cared for as much as anybody else. If we all did that it’d be a happy place, wouldn’t it?
“The big lesson there is just treat everyone with kindness and love.”
Hansen’s World XV meet Eddie Jones’ BaaBaas at Twickenham on Sunday, 28 May.
The RFU will raise the rainbow flag before the match as a show of support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Once one of the world’s best full-backs, dual-code international Folau was embroiled in a lengthy dispute with his former employers after a “high-level” breach of their code of conduct over the online posts.
His contract with Rugby Australia was ripped up in May 2019, and he has since played rugby league for Catalans Dragons and club rugby union in Japan.
He has switched international allegiance to Tonga and is in line to play at this year’s Rugby World Cup.
Hansen, who coached New Zealand to victory at the 2015 World Cup, says he understands why Folau’s selection will “hurt” some people, but that he deserves to be involved.
“Israel Folau is a very good rugby player,” said Hansen. “He’s world class. And I know by picking him that there will be some people hurt -and I get that.
“However, I want those people to understand that Israel’s belief and views are not ours. And we don’t agree with them.
“But he’s a rugby player first and foremost and he’s been sanctioned.
“Those sanctions have finished, he’s playing rugby, he’s probably going to go to the World Cup so my job is to pick the best team I can pick and that’s what I’ve done.”