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Chiefs to play Rebels in 'Pride Round' to stand up against homophobia in rugby - report

The Chiefs are set to be part of a historic match in rugby's fight against homophobia with the Waikato side reportedly taking on the Rebels in Super Rugby's first "Pride Round".

The New Zealand Herald reports the Rebels will host the Chiefs at AAMI Park for the match where they hope to 'lead the way for inclusion and anti-homophobia' in response to the recent Israel Folau saga and allegations against Crusaders players.

The Herald added the Rebels will don a unique pride kit for the match and the Chiefs have been encouraged to do the same while a curtain raiser match will feature the first All-Australian gay rugby team.

The game comes after former Waratahs fullback Folau had his contract torn up by Rugby Australia earlier this month over an Instagram post he made in April that said homosexuals, amongst other groups, had hell awaiting them unless they repented for their sins.

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Stevenson said the defence Folau was simply quoting the Bible doesn't work in today's society. Source: Breakfast

Super Rugby then faced more issues with homophobia after allegations were made against several Crusaders players about taunting a gay man at a fast food restaurant while they were in Cape Town during their recent South Africa tour.

The players and management denied the allegations but New Zealand Rugby has launched an independent investigation into the claims that is still ongoing.

The Chiefs featuring in the match could be a special moment for some of their players who have publicly stood up against homophobia in recent years.

Stand-in captain Brad Weber, who made headlines last year when he stood up to Folau after the former Wallaby made his first controversial post about homosexuals going to hell.

"I can't stand that I have to play this game that I love with people, like Folau, who say what he's saying," Weber said on Twitter at the time.

"My cousin and her partner, and my Aunty and her partner are some of the most kind, caring and loving people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

"To think that I play against someone that says they'll go to hell for being gay disgusts me."

Prop Angus Ta'avao also took a stance against Folau this year, sporting rainbow shoe laces a week after the "hell awaits" post.

Chiefs prop Angus Ta'avao wore rainbow laces in his side's loss to the Lions
Chiefs prop Angus Ta'avao wore rainbow laces in his side's loss to the Lions Source: Getty

The Chiefs will face the Rebels on June 14.

Chiefs post match huddle after the Super 15 Rugby match - Chiefs v Hurricanes played at FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand on Friday 13 July 2018.

Copyright photo: © Bruce Lim / www.photosport.nz
Chiefs huddle after their match against the Hurricanes. Source: Photosport