Israel Folau Arrives At Fair Work Commission
Israel Folau Arrives At Fair Work Commission

‘God goes with you’: Folau arrives for legal showdown

SACKED rugby player Israel Folau has arrived at the Fair Work Commission for his unfair dismissal showdown with Rugby Australia over anti-gay comments.

The former Wallaby looked calm as he made his way through a packed Sydney media scrum and smiled as one onlooker told him: "God goes with you brother, I've been praying for you."

Folau will demand an apology from RA on Friday after he left the governing body fuming with claims they offered him cash to delete his controversial social media post.

Israel Folau enters the Fair Work Commission today: Picture: Adam Yip
Israel Folau enters the Fair Work Commission today: Picture: Adam Yip


"Any suggestion that Rugby Australia offered Israel Folau money to remove a post made on April 10, 2019, is completely untrue,' RA said.

RA boss Raelene Castle also arrived with RA lawyers and will face Folau for the first time since his $5 million contract was terminated for breaching terms of the deal.

The fullback argues they had no legal grounds to sack him and wants an admission of wrongdoing, for what he believes amounts to discrimination on religious grounds.

However that is highly unlikely, with Castle insisting Folau's case is not about religious freedom, but breach of contract.

Folau has shown no interest in any settlement offers made by RA before and during his code of conduct hearing, the largest of which was close to $2 million.

With the help of the Australian Christian Lobby, Folau has sourced $2 million from members of the public who support his fight based on religious expression

It's understood he is keen to take the matter all the way to the Federal Court in a bid to win nearly $10 million for his contract and lost future earnings.

Folau said sponsorship pressure to take action against his netballer wife Maria in recent days has taken a toll as she struggles with being "dragged into" the crisis.

 

Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle arrives for today’s hearing. Picture: Getty
Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle arrives for today’s hearing. Picture: Getty

 

 

Israel Folau speaks to Alan Jones on Sky News last night.
Israel Folau speaks to Alan Jones on Sky News last night.

 

"I'm very lucky she's a strong woman, she is the same as me, convicted by her faith and she's continuing to march on and stay strong," Folau told Alan Jones and Peta Credlin on Sky News on Thursday evening.

Folau reiterated that his offending Instagram post that targeted homosexuals and other sinners "came from a place of love".

He told Jones and Credlin there was nothing in his contract preventing him from making the post, despite pleading guilty to a low-level breach of his contract during his code of conduct hearing.

He added that it was difficult to understand why former teammates Drew Mitchell, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps and Michael Hooper had criticised him during the ongoing saga.

Castle says Folau was found by an independent tribunal panel to have made multiple, serious breaches of the Professional Players Code of Conduct.