Peter Fitzsimons slams 'absolutely absurd' Israel Folau claim

Former Wallaby Peter FitzSimons has taken another shot at Israel Folau, slamming his astonishing new $14 million legal claim as "absurd".

According to new court documents revealed this week, Folau is seeking an extra $4 million in damages from Rugby Australia over his controversial sacking.

The former Wallabies fullback was initially seeking $10 million but is arguing that figure should be considerably higher.

‘PRETTY POOR’: Devastating moment 11yo boy banned from playing for being 'too big'

The documents claim the Wallabies would have put in a "superior performance" if Folau was selected for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and he could have possibly captained "a trophy-winning Wallabies team".

Folau's notion that he could have captained the national side has raised many eyebrows in the rugby world, with many disputing the legitimacy of the claim.

FitzSimons has used 39 years of history in Australian rugby to tear Folau's argument to shreds.

Peter FitzSimons has labelled Israel Folau's captaincy claim 'absurd'.

“The last time Australian rugby had a fullback as captain was in 1980. It was Paul McLean, it was one Test, and after that the theory in Australian rugby was that fullback was too far from the main game to be the captain, so the tradition in Australian rugby is we don’t have a fullback as a captain,” FitzSimons said.

“I find the claim absolutely absurd.”

The respected rugby analyst then went on to back up his assertion by pointing out that despite former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika naming a long list of vice-captains during his national tenure, Folau was never one of those players to make the cut.

"Michael Cheika, who was the Wallabies coach of course, he moved through seven vice-captains," FitzSimons added.

“Now, if Michael Cheika had seven vice-captains and Israel Folau wasn’t one of them, I think by definition he was a very unlikely man to be captain.”

Folau, a hardline Christian, claims he was wrongfully dismissed by Rugby Australia and Rugby NSW after a controversial Instagram post in April condemning "drunks" and "homosexuals" and warning "hell awaits" them.

Folau has also previously claimed transgender people are evil and should repent.

In the amended statement of claim to the Federal Circuit Court, Folau details the income he has lost since Rugby Australia tore up his contract.

The list includes estimates of between $450,000 and $1.25 million a year in "post-playing career monetary benefits" over a span of 15 to 25 years.

It details Folau's belief that he could have earned more if he was selected as Wallabies Test captain in the future.

"Additional post-playing career monetary benefits to be derived from building upon (his) record of achievement ... and two additional Rugby World Cups," the claim states.

"Including a superior performance at the 2019 Rugby World Cup by the Wallabies than what was achieved without Folau, and possible captainship of a trophy-winning Wallabies team."

The claim states Folau lost about $300,000 in guaranteed sponsorship, $300,000 in Test match payments and $4.2 million in base salary.

Folau, a former rugby league and AFL player, would have "continued to play successfully" for the Wallabies and NSW Waratahs until his retirement, the claim states.

Israel Folau is seeking $14 million in his legal dispute with Rugby Australia. Pic: Getty

The document includes fresh claims RA was told by a senior Wallaby that sacking Folau could offend Polynesian players and divide the team.

"Before the hearing was conducted before the Tribunal, a senior player had told Ms (chief executive Raelene) Castle and Mr (coach Michael) Cheika that the termination of Mr Folau was likely to cause division amongst the Wallabies and that Christian Polynesians in the team were offended by the actions of Rugby Australia," the claim states.

At least 15 teammates and coaching staff members had backed Folau following his comments, according to the documents.

Folau conceded his social media posts were a "low-level breach", the claim states.

To save his contract he offered to apologise, pay a fine, serve a suspension, donate to Randwick Children's Hospital and let RA review his future social media posts.

RA says Folau's expressions of faith have always been supported "provided that these were done in a respectful and inclusive manner".

Folau's contract with RA was terminated in May.

Folau’s bushfire comments spark outrage

Folau was widely condemned earlier this month after linking Australia's devastating bushfires with legalising same-sex marriage.

Among those to express their outrage over his comments were Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who labelled them "appallingly insensitive" and opposition leader Anthony Albanese, who branded him "reprehensible".

During a 10-minute sermon, Folau said the timing of the bushfire crisis was no coincidence, but rather a taste of God's judgment.

"I've been looking around at the events that's been happening in Australia, this past couple of weeks, with all the natural disasters, the bushfires and the droughts," he said.

Folau then linked a Bible passage to the twin disasters of bushfire and drought and, in turn, the legalising of same-sex marriage and abortion.

"The events that have happened here in Australia, in the last couple of years - God's word says for a man and a woman to be together ... they've come and changed this law," he said.

"Abortion, it's okay now to murder, kill infants, unborn children."

With agencies