Raelene Castle has hit back at reports claiming Rugby Australia and Israel Folau settled for around $8 million following the end of the nation’s highest-profile feud.
On Wednesday, Folau posted a video to YouTube in the hours after reaching a settlement with Rugby Australia over his unfair dismissal claim, saying he has been ‘vindicated’.
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Several days after filing a $14 million lawsuit against Rugby Australia, Folau’s former employer reached a confidential settlement with the ousted star.
In a statement issued by Rugby Australia on Wednesday afternoon, both sides apologised to each other for the sorry saga.
But on Thursday, Rugby Australia CEO Castle took to Twitter and said the numbers thrown around in the media were “wildly inaccurate” and that the agreement between the two parties remained confidential.
“Folau settlement numbers are confidential but numbers being speculated are wildly inaccurate,” Castle wrote on Twitter.
Folau settlement numbers are confidential but numbers being speculated are wildly inaccurate— Raelene Castle (@raelenecastle) December 4, 2019
Folau, Rugby Australia ‘wish each other well’
Rugby Australia said in the statement that Folau’s Instagram post was a reflection of his genuinely held religious beliefs.
“The Social Media Post reflected Mr Folau’s genuinely held religious beliefs, and Mr Folau did not intend to harm or offend any person when he uploaded the social media post,” the statement read.
“Mr Folau wants all Australians to know that he does not condone discrimination of any kind against any person on the grounds of their sexuality, and he shares Rugby Australia’s commitment to inclusiveness and diversity.
“Rugby Australia acknowledges and apologises for any hurt or harm caused to the Folaus.
“Similarly, Mr Folau did not intend to hurt or harm the game of rugby and acknowledges and apologises for any hurt or harm caused.
“Rugby Australia and Mr Folau wish each other well for the future.”
‘Finally gone away’: Greg Martin
Former Test star turned commentator Greg Martin said he was relieved for rugby the case was settled.
"We've had some good results with the under 20s, we've got a new (Wallabies) coach, but every time there's good news Izzy has stuck his head up and said, 'I want more money, I'm still suing, I haven't gone away', Martin said.
"Well today is like Christmas because he's finally gone away.
"The anchor has been cut and we've finally cut him loose so that's the last we will hear of him and rugby."
Martin said he wasn't concerned that RA had to apologise to Folau as part of the settlement but felt there were still questions over chief executive Raelene Castle's handling of the matter.
"That's lawyer stuff - they wanted that and to reach a settlement everyone had to give a bit of ground and Australian rugby union (RA) had to give a lot of money so that's the way it's gone," he said.
"There will be a bit of digging going on as to what happened with his contract that it wasn't water-tight so we couldn't sack him after he'd done it (posted) once."