Court battle almost certain as Israel Folau snubs Rugby Australia appeal

Israel Folau’s $4 million contract has officially been terminated, but the former Wallabies star now appears certain to take legal action against Rugby Australia.

Folau had until Monday afternoon to appeal his high-level code of conduct breach and sanction over his religiously-motivated but controversial social media posts.

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However he opted to let that deadline pass.

“As Folau has not notified the panel of his intention to appeal, the Code of Conduct process has now formally concluded,” RA said in a statement on Monday.

“With the Code of Conduct matter complete, Folau’s employment contract will be terminated.”

Court action very likely

However Folau released a statement shortly after, highlighting the fact his decision not to appeal does not mean he’s accepted his fate.

“The last 72 hours have given me considerable opportunity to reflect and think about my future,” he said.

“My decision not to commence Rugby Australia’s appeal process is in no way an acceptance of the judicial panel’s findings.

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

Israel Folau celebrates scoring a try in 2017. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Folau strongly hinted at legal action being his next step.

“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 career is substantial,” he said.

“Unfortunately 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.”

The Daily Telegraph first reported that Folau was likely to reject the opportunity to appeal and instead take his case straight to the Supreme Court.

Raelene Castle and Israel Folau. Image: Getty

Having already spent a reported $350,000 on legal fees in their bid to sack Folau, stepping into the Supreme Court will be the last thing RA wants.

RA chief executive Raelene Castle alluded to that on Friday.

“I’d certainly hope Mr Folau takes that into consideration when he thinks about his next steps,” she said.

with AAP