Australian rugby star Israel Folau has defended anti-gay comments he made on Instagram.

Folau plays for Australian rugby team the Wallabies.

The 29-year-old Folau, a devout Christian who regularly posts religious messages, posted a meme earlier this month on Instagram about God's plan. When a follower asked, “What was God's plan for gay people?” Folau replied: “HELL.. Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God.”

According to the BBC, Folau has since deleted the comment.

Rugby Australia reportedly discussed the incident with Folau, but no action was taken.

In an op-ed this week, Folau wrote that he was only speaking “from the heart.”

"I was asked a question by somebody about what God's plan is for gay people,” Folau said.

"My response to the question is what I believe God's plan is for all sinners, according to my understanding of my Bible teachings, specifically 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10, 'Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor the drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.'”

“I do not know the person who asked the question, but that didn't matter. I believed he was looking for guidance and I answered him honestly and from the heart. I know a lot of people will find that difficult to understand, but I believe the Bible is the truth and sometimes the truth can be difficult to hear,” he added.

Folau is Australia's highest paid rugby player.