Israel Folau after long day at his hearing.
Israel Folau after long day at his hearing.

‘Rugby the loser’ as Folau hearing extends

A code of conduct hearing to determine the playing future of Wallabies star Israel Folau will continue into a third day at the headquarters of Rugby Australia.

The 30-year-old outside back appeared before the hearing to fight Rugby Australia's decision to terminate his contract after he posted in mid-April on social media that gay people, along with other "sinners," will face damnation unless they repent.

On Sunday, Rugby Australia said the hearing, which began Saturday, would continue Tuesday.

Folau has played 73 test matches for Australia. In his most recent match for the New South Waratahs, Folau scored his 60th try, the most of any player in Super Rugby, breaking the record of former New Zealand winger Doug Howlett.

Folau has also played rugby league for Australia and top-flight Australian Rules football, and is generally regarded as one of the best multi-talented athletes the country has ever produced.

In February, Folau signed a multimillion-dollar contract extension to remain with the Waratahs and Australian rugby until the end of 2022. Just three months later, Folau finds himself in danger of having no future in the sport.

A statement from Rugby Australia advised the hearing was set to stretch into a third day after the panel received further evidence from both Castle and Hore.

"The Code of Conduct hearing for Israel Folau will continue on Tuesday, May 7," the statement read.

"The panel received oral evidence from NSW Rugby CEO Andrew Hore and further oral evidence from Rugby Australia Chief Executive Raelene Castle today."

Folau reportedly rejected a $1 million peace offering to walk away from his deal from Rugby Australia.

His tweets and subsequent code of conduct hearing have captured plenty of attention and severe backlash.

Speaking on Channel 9's Sports Sunday program, ex-footy star Ian Roberts delivered a sobering message to Folau about the tragic truth of the beliefs he's spreading.

"I feel sorry for Israel but there are consequences to your actions," Roberts said.

"There are literally kids in the suburbs killing themselves and I say that with the greatest sense of respect and I'm not saying that Israel is responsible solely for that."

Raylene Castle and Andrew Hoare arrive ahead of Rugby Australia's code of conduct hearing.
Raylene Castle and Andrew Hoare arrive ahead of Rugby Australia's code of conduct hearing.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika made an intriguing appearance at RA headquarters on Saturday as Folau fought to save his career after being issued with a "high- level" breach notice last month.

Cheika wasn't expected at the hearing, but cut a conspicuous figure driving out of the RA car park early on Saturday afternoon.

Folau's team was expected to argue that RA did not include a specific social media clause in his new contract and that his posts were merely passages from the Bible and not his direct words.

RA maintains the panel will not deliver a decision until next week after mulling over all evidence from both parties.

If the tribunal determines that Folau has in fact breached his contract, the panel must then decide if the breach was severe enough to terminate his career. Both Folau and Rugby Australia will have until 72 hours after any decision is handed down to appeal.

They may appeal because of an error of law; or it's deemed the decision was unreasonable or insupportable having regard to the evidence on which it was based; and/or that the penalty imposed was manifestly inadequate or unjust.

Employment law experts predict the case could drag on for months and even years if a settlement isn't reached and the matter winds up in the courts.

With Darren Walton, AAP