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.”
Israel Folau will not appeal the Code of Conduct verdict. Option still available to take the matter to the courts though. pic.twitter.com/c5t5p8sZHZ
— Beth Newman (@bethknewman) May 20, 2019
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.”
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.”
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.