Joel Creasey has challenged Israel Folau to a televised debate, as the former rugby star faces a backlash over setting up a GoFundMe to cover his legal fees.

Folau made headlines this week when he asked for charitable donations to cover the cost of his coming court battle with Rugby Australia.

In a Facebook post yesterday, the openly gay Creasey responded angrily, saying:

“You say you have the”fight of your life” on your hands trying to raise funds to defend your blatant homophobia. If you’d like to put that in perspective I’m more than happy to debate you on national television. I can assure you that will be a far tougher fight.”

The comedian didn’t say what specifically he would like to debate, although he’s presumably angling for a conversation about homophobia in sport and broader Australian society.

Folau has yet to respond.

Earlier this year, Rugby Australia tore up his multi-million dollar contract, after a three-person panel found that he was in breach after homophobic remarks he made in social media posts.

He has vowed to appeal this decision, claiming the process has already cost him upwards of $100,000, but many have questioned why a multi-millionaire athlete would need to turn to the public to fund his legal battles.

Former Wallabies teammates Drew Mitchell and Mark Gerrrard are among his more vocal critics. Mitchell accused him of greed, while Gerrard told Fox Sports News that his ongoing “saga” is tarnishing the game of rugby.

Image: Getty Images / Sam Tabone / Chris Hyde