'Sacking is void': Israel Folau's new claims against Rugby Australia

Israel Folau's sacking is unenforceable and an "unreasonable restraint of trade" as he can no longer play international or Australian Super Rugby, the controversial star claims.

The staunch Christian is suing Rugby Australia and the NSW Waratahs for $10 million, claiming he was unlawfully dismissed because of his religion after a controversial Instagram post in April.

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In a 26-page statement of claim lodged with the Federal Circuit Court this week, Folau - who says he should be playing in the Rugby World Cup this September - says the decision to sack him is unenforceable because it places an unreasonable limit on his ability to play.

"Mr Folau can no longer play rugby union at an international level (because he is only eligible to play for the Wallabies) or for an Australian team in the Super Rugby competition and is therefore an unreasonable restraint of trade, contrary to public policy and void," the document says.

Israel Folau speaks to media following his conciliation meeting with Rugby Australia at Fair Work Commission on June 28, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/Getty Images)

The document adds that employment contracts should not restrict an employee - in their own time and provided they're not breaking the law - having or sharing religious beliefs.

But to the extent his player contract and his ex-employers' code of conduct restricted him from doing so, they went against public policy and were therefore "void at law".

Folau’s Instagram post

In April, the self-described "born again" Christian, shared a post on Instagram proclaiming hell awaits "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolaters".

His former employers said it breached their code of conduct and both sides are likely to clash at a trial in February next year if a court-directed mediation hearing fails in December.

Israel Folau of the Waratahs looks on during the round 8 Super Rugby match between the Blues and Waratahs on April 06, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

Folau claims it was his "mission and duty to spread the word of God" and that his social media posts represented his "real and genuine" religious beliefs.

Since he was baptised in December 2017 into the Truth of Jesus Christ church, Folau says his social media posts have almost entirely shared what he believes to be the word of God.

"Mr Folau's religious beliefs go to the very essence of his personhood and define him as a human being," the document reads.

He claims he did this in his personal time, not at the workplace, and he posted on pages that were "substantively unrelated" to rugby.

Folau expected to be paid $5.7 million and further Test match payments under his contract, which wasn't due to expire until November 2022.

Folau, who is also seeking an apology and for his position to be reinstated, will return to court on December 17 ahead of a trial if mediation is unsuccessful.