Australia head coach Michael Cheika says he received threats amid the fallout from Israel Folau’s controversial social media post.
The 30-year-old devout Christian had his contract terminated by Rugby Australia in April for writing “hell awaits” gay people.
Full-back Folau, who won 73 caps, is now suing the governing body, arguing his contract was unlawfully ended.
“People were saying all sorts of stuff,” Cheika said.
“Just threats I was getting; people on the street, some to my face, a couple at some games. It was just crazy stuff.”
Folau – who is seeking £5.6m (AU $10m) in compensation, an apology and a return to the national side – escaped punishment for similar anti-gay comments last year.
Cheika, whose side start their Rugby World Cup campaign against Fiji next Saturday in Japan, said the governing body had to act in the team’s best interests.