Rugby legend Andrew Johns kisses teammate as he comes out for same-sex marriage

Australian rugby legend Andrew Johns has come out in support of same-sex marriage.

The former National Rugby League (NRL) pro took to Instagram to reveal his voting intention in the upcoming plebiscite – in epic style.

Johns posted a photo of him kissing with fellow Newcastle Knights player Billy Peden.

“Two boys from Cessnock will be voting yes. Ha ha sorry Bill,” he captioned the moment.

The post has been liked more than 5,000 times, with many users commenting to thank the sportsman for his support.

“Thanks for making a public statement, @ajohns74 and especially in such good humour. We’ll remember this.

“I hope this changes some minds and breaks down some of the stigma in this debate. PS – @timminchin here’s your sporting legend ‘coming out’ in support of marriage equality,” one user wrote.

Another added: “Well done Joey! Our game, our players and our supporters so often get a bad wrap but this a brilliant.

“Thanks for making a public statement, and in such s big way, about your support for marriage equality.”

The post comes after another Australian rugby player was criticised for opposing the equality measure.

Israel Folau posted to Twitter explaining why he will vote ‘no’ in the country’s upcoming vote on marriage rules.

The opposition comes despite his own team, Qantas Wallabies, being strongly in support of the equality measure.

Israel Folau of the Wallabies

Folau wrote of his decision: “I love and respect all people for who they are and their opinions. but personally, I will not support gay marriage.”

The message was followed by peace, heart and prayer signs.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull opted to put the issue of same-sex marriage to the people in a contentious and controversial public vote.

The public vote on marriage equality is non-binding and advisory in nature and has no legal power.

However the result will likely be taken into consideration by the country’s lawmakers.

Ballot papers, which have now been issued, will read: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”

Polling shows that support for same-sex marriage has fallen significantly in recent weeks, after an initial strong lead.

The deadline for the return of ballots is November 7, giving a voting period of nearly two months.

The result of the ballot will be announced at the end of November.