Revealed: Folau to fight for his rugby career
Israel Folau has met with Rugby Australia officials including chief executive Raelene Castle today, and intends to fight for his career.
However, he has been told in no uncertain terms that Rugby Australia will use every measure to terminate his $4 million contract over his homophobic online ranting.
Folau is entitled to go through a code of conduct hearing before his employment can be officially ended by RA, and he intends to undertake this process in a bid to save his sporting career.
Folau and wife Maria met with Rugby Union Players Association boss Prataal Raj on Friday morning at a Little Bay cafe to discuss his next course of action.
The 30-year-old is contracted through to the end of 2022, and with the NRL announcing it will not employ Folau, and the player not wanting to move overseas, termination of his current deal would effectively end his professional career.
Earning $1 million a season, Folau must make a compelling case of mitigating factors at the code of conduct hearing if he is to overturn RA's decision.
Folau had refused to answer RA's calls on Thursday, prompting them to release a statement last night saying: "In the absence of compelling mitigating factors, it is our intention to terminate his contract.
The statement issued by Castle, and NSW chief executive Andrew Hore, said: "Rugby Australia and the New South Wales Rugby Union have made repeated attempts to contact Israel both directly and via his representatives since 6.30pm on Wednesday, and at this point he has failed to communicate directly with either organisation.
"Whilst Israel is entitled to his religious beliefs, the way in which he has expressed these beliefs is inconsistent with the values of the sport. We want to make it clear that he does not speak for the game with his recent social media posts.
"Israel has failed to understand that the expectation of him as a Rugby Australia and NSW Waratahs employee is that he cannot share material on social media that condemns, vilifies or discriminates against people on the basis of their sexuality.
"Rugby is a sport that continuously works to unite people. We want everyone to feel safe and welcome in our game and no vilification based on race, gender, religion or sexuality is acceptable and no language that isolates, divides or insults people based on any of those factors can be tolerated.
"As a code we have made it clear to Israel formally and repeatedly that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people because of their sexuality will result in disciplinary action."
Folau became the highest try-scorer in Super Rugby history last weekend when he crossed for the 60th time in NSW's loss to the Blues in Auckland.