Rugby Australia settles legal dispute with Israel Folau

Chris Young
Sports Reporter

Israel Folau and Rugby Australia have settled their dispute over the sacking of the former Wallaby due to his controversial social media posts.

The two sides announced a confidential settlement had been reached on Wednesday afternoon, after mediation ordered by the Federal Circuit Court.

Folau had asked for $14 million in compensation for the sacking, while Rugby Australia said it was within its rights to sack him over a controversial Instagram post in April condemning "drunks" and "homosexuals", and warning "hell awaits" them.

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In a statement released by Rugby Australia, the organisation ‘acknowledges and apologises’ for ‘any hurt or harm caused’ to their former player.

A similar statement was made by Folau for any hurt or harm caused ‘to the game of rugby’.

Rugby Australia and chair Raelene Castle have settled their legal dispute with Israel Folau. Pictures: Getty Images

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.”

Folau is a hardline Christian who belongs to the Truth of Jesus Christ Church in Sydney, after leaving his previous mainstream churches.

The former rugby league and AFL player recently attracted criticism after he said the deadly bushfires were God's judgement for same-sex marriage and abortion laws.

WITH AAP