'I couldn't do that': Israel Folau's bombshell new claim against Rugby Australia

Israel Folau says he was “backed into a corner” by Rugby Australia, claiming he was offered money to remove the controversial Instagram post that sparked his downfall.

But the governing body has emphatically denied they proposed paying Folau to delete the post.

The sacked Wallabies player is hoping for an apology from Rugby Australia when he meets with officials from the body at the Fair Work Commission on Friday.

"I'm hopeful for an apology from them and admission that they were wrong," Folau told Sky News on Thursday.

"That would be something that I would like to get."

STUNNING: Folau answers to ‘greed’ criticism

RA sacked Folau after taking issue with a social media post by the committed Christian in April that was condemned as homophobic.

Folau had paraphrased a Bible passage saying "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters" would go to hell unless they repented.

He has launched legal proceedings with the Fair Work Commission against the body, arguing he was unfairly dismissed on religious grounds.

Folau is seeking $10 million in damages from RA and wants his multimillion-dollar contract reinstated after it was pulled by the association.

Folau said RA had offered him money to remove the post that caused the issue, but he declined to do so.

Israel Folau says he is seeking an apology from Rugby Australia. Pic: Getty

He said sharing the Bible and its passages is part of his duty as a Christian.

"I couldn't do that as a person that's convicted by my faith. I couldn't live with that," Folau said.

"It certainly comes from a place of love and it's nothing personal."

He added: “I felt like I was backed into a corner, into a boundary, where I was put into one side, a compromise to agree to what they were asking. But in the end I couldn't do it because my faith was most important.”

Folau’s claim was rubbished by Rugby Australia soon after his appearance on Sky News.

“Any suggestion that Rugby Australia offered Israel Folau money to remove a post made on April 10, 2019, is completely untrue,” he said.

‘Share in love’

Folau said he understood how people could be hurt by what he posted.

"I can certainly see it from both sides," he said.

"If I had a child that was a drug addict, I would certainly still love my child without anything attached to that.

"It's something that I'm trying to share in love and that's the way I look at it in terms of sharing the Bible and the passages with my fellow men each day."

The player and Rugby Australia representatives will meet at the Fair Work Commission on Friday for the next step in their legal stoush.

The meeting comes as a campaign to raise funds to support Folau's case was "paused" after donations topped $2 million.

Raelene Castle has butted heads with Israel Folau ahead of their Fair Work Commission fight. Pic: Getty

The Australian Christian Lobby, which set up the fundraiser on its website, said the flow of donations since it was opened on Tuesday had been overwhelming.

More than 20,000 people had donated more than $2.2 million by Thursday morning.

Former employers criticise fundraising efforts

An apology is unlikely to arrive, with Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle reiterating Folau had his contract terminated as an 'employment matter'.

Castle said in a statement to rugby fans on Thursday that Folau was not sacked simply because he shared religious messages.

"I want to make clear that Rugby Australia has acted with complete professionalism and integrity at all times through the process by which Israel was found, by an independent three-member tribunal panel, to have made multiple, serious breaches of the Professional Players Code of Conduct," the CEO said.

"The panel found the breaches constituted a high level and directed Rugby Australia to terminate Israel’s contract.

"This is an employment matter and does not concern his religious beliefs or his ability to express them freely. If some of you follow Israel’s social accounts, you will have noticed he has posted religious material freely and openly over the last few years.”

with AAP