Israel Folau has broken his silence over the firestorm that his anti-gay comments created, insisting that he won't back down.
The embattled Wallabies fullback is set to make his return to Super Rugby action when his Waratahs take on the Blues on Saturday.
Folau sparked public outrage with his comments on social media, claiming God's plan for gay people is hell.
Speaking on Thursday, Folau said he would not let the backlash affect his commitment to the sport he loves.
"That's something that comes truly from the bottom of my heart. That doesn't interfere with anything to do with my rugby and the guys around me.
"As team-mates, I'm still the same person and I try to bring that energy as best I can when I'm around the team and obviously going out and playing on the weekends doesn't change who I am. That's the most important thing that I've learned probably the last month."
All Blacks TJ Perenara and Brad Weber have spoken out against Folau's comments, while many fans have also expressed their disappointment.
However, the 29-year-old - who recently wed Silver Ferns star Maria Tutaia - said he wasn't hurt by the backlash.
"Absolutely not," Folau said when asked about the criticism he received. "I don't take anything personally. I understand everyone is entitled to their opinions and I've said what I've said in recent weeks. I leave it there."