Israel Folau has opted against appealing his sacking by Rugby Australia. Picture: Diimex
Israel Folau has opted against appealing his sacking by Rugby Australia. Picture: Diimex

‘No confidence:’ Folau rejects chance to appeal sacking

ISRAEL Folau's Australian rugby career is officially over after he decided not to lodge an appeal against his sacking.

His playing days are finished but Folau will instead likely follow through with the option of taking his case to court.

"My decision not to commence Rugby Australia's appeal process is in no way an acceptance of the judicial panel's findings," Folau said in a statement.

"I simply do not have confidence in Rugby Australia's ability to treat me fairly or lawfully throughout this process."

Found guilty of a high-level breach of the sport's Code of Conduct for his homophobic social media posts, Folau was notified on Friday that his 4-year $4 million contract was being terminated.

He was given three days to lodge an appeal but chose not to.

"The 72-hour window for Israel Folau to appeal his high-level Code of Conduct breach and sanction has expired," Rugby Australia said in a statement.

"As Folau has not notified the panel of his intention to appeal, the Code of Conduct process has now formally concluded.

Israel Folau was sacked by Rugby Australia last week after a lengthy independent hearing. Picture: Getty
Israel Folau was sacked by Rugby Australia last week after a lengthy independent hearing. Picture: Getty

"With the Code of Conduct matter complete, Folau's employment contract will be terminated."

 

Folau thanked his fans for their vocal support in the face of the sacking.

"The messages of support from fans, players, former rugby administrators and the public have been humbling," he said.

"I believe I still have a lot of rugby left in me and the potential impact of Rugby Australia's decision on my reputation and my career is substantial.

"Ultimately, I need to do what is best for my family, my teammates and the fans, so I am considering all potential avenues open to me."

Folau was found to have breached his conduct through social media posts. Picture: Getty
Folau was found to have breached his conduct through social media posts. Picture: Getty

On Friday, it was reported by The Daily Telegraph's Jamie Pandaram that Folau was so resolute in his belief he's being religiously persecuted he planned on brushing the option of a second code of conduct hearing to appeal a termination decision, and instead head straight to court.

Folau has already rejected a $1 million settlement offer by Rugby Australia, and it's now understood no amount of money will convince him to drop the case and walk away.

The 30-year-old Wallabies star wants to make a statement to the world about religious expression, and money is not his primary objective, as he has stated recently during sermons at his church.

That creates a potentially catastrophic situation for RA, who have already spent more than $350,000 in legal fees attempting to sack Folau for his social media post vilifying homosexuals and other sinners on April 10.

It's estimated that a battle in court to resolve the matter could take up to 18 months, costing millions.