Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

Australian Rugby’s Problem – The Pacific Islanders Tend To Be Fundamentally Christian

We’ve a lovely little example of a problem with immigration here. Sometimes the immigrants don’t quite share the same cultural values as the people they immigrate among. This is not to be making a BNP point as if we’re fans of the one eyed wonder, it’s actually an observation about Christians.

Both Australia and New Zealand have been recruiting among the Pacific Island nations in order to gain rugby players. Polynesians having a tendency – partly based upon simple physique issues as with East Africans and long distance running – to be rather good at rugby. This then runs into a certain problem when the incomers don’t entirely and wholly share the cultural assumptions of the society they enter.

Australia not, as with most rich nations these days, being a culture that has much religion at all unless we’re to talk of the genuflection to Gaia of recycling. This not being true of many to most Pacific Islanders where Christianity is still of a more muscular and fundamental kind.

That is, Israel Folau might have said something out of order as far as Australian mores are concerned but they’re dead centre mainstream out on the islands:

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] Several senior Wallabies players, including Michael Hooper, Will Genia and Bernard Foley, have spoken out against Folau, while coach Michael Cheika and Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson have also expressed their displeasure at his latest comments. Last week Genia told a Fox Sports podcast that Folau’s actions had made “it a bit uncomfortable for people within those team environments to relate to him and, moving forward, even to play with him”. Folau has been stood down by the NSW Waratahs after posting a Bible passage last month claiming hell awaits “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators” unless they repent and turn to Jesus Christ. He will front a three-person tribunal – comprising chair John West, RA’s representative Kate Eastman SC and the RUPA-appointed John Boultbee SC – on Saturday. However, Folau has since received backing from England star Billy Vunipola, who liked Folau’s post and called for people to “live their lives how God intended”. Brisbane-born Vunipola was himself slapped with a warning by his English club Saracens over his defence of Folau’s post and handed a “formal warning” by the English Rugby Football Union. [/perfectpullquote]

Note how the dividing line runs – the Polynesians do rather seem to be one one side, the non-Polynesians on the other. This is causing problems more generally:

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] Rugby Australia is facing a potential player mutiny after one of the Wallabies’ most exciting prospects claimed all Pacific Islanders “might as well just be sacked” because of their religious beliefs. At the same time, there are fears Israel Folau’s recent social media posts could lead to a player boycott if he wins his RA code of conduct hearing and saves his multimillion-dollar career. [/perfectpullquote]


[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]It is a huge concern for Cheika ahead of this year’s World Cup – a third of Australia’s last Test line-up of 2018 were Polynesian.[/perfectpullquote]

Interesting, eh? How the different cultural assumptions between immigrants and indigenes can cause problems? Here it’s that the immigrants are more Christian than the hosts but we might well think we can have the same basic problem when that’s not the detailed issue….

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dodgy Geezer
Dodgy Geezer
2 years ago

Interesting, eh? How the different cultural assumptions between immigrants and indigenes can cause problems?

Just so long as immigrants can be relied upon to vote with the Liberal Establishment the ‘correct’ response is “I see no problem”.

However, if immigrants ever started voting for the right wing, or any other minority position, you would be surprised how rapidly the Establishment would realise that proper control of borders is an essential part of good government…

2 years ago

Do note that he didn’t advocate any mistreatment of gays whatsoever. He did correctly note that Christian doctrine says that gay sex is a sin. If this is impermissible speech they’re going to have to censor or shut down Christian churches, not to mention Mosques and synagogues.

“My religion considers this behavior sinful and we’re trying to save you from Hell” – sorry, you can’t say that.

This could get interesting in that Pacific Islanders can claim privileged status as well as gays, so this could be a tricky one to score.

Chester Draws
Chester Draws
2 years ago

Both Australia and New Zealand have been recruiting among the Pacific Island nations in order to gain rugby players. No. We import Polynesians for many reasons, of which playing rugby is rather a minor one. Once they’re in, they start playing Rugby. The All Blacks plays fewer people born outside its borders than England does. It often these days plays fewer Polynesians from outside. Most of the Polynesian players in the rugby team of NZ were born in NZ, or at least have lived there most of their lives. It’s actually quite hard for an adult islander to get into… Read more »

Tristram Fuller
Tristram Fuller
2 years ago

It’s tricky. His problem is that he has breached his contract as he is a repeat ‘offender’. I would defend his right to state what he did (though I don’t agree with him) but he agreed before his contract was renewed that he wouldn’t repeat those things so he is in breach of that contract.

I don’t see how he can win. For a good article on this see

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x