MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Israel Folau waived his right to appeal the termination of his contract by Rugby Australia due to a lack of “confidence” in their process, the former Wallabies fullback said yesterday, but he had not ruled out further action against the decision.
Folau was fired on Friday for a “high level” breach of RA’s code of conduct after posting on social media that hell awaits “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers” and others.
RA gave Folau 72 hours to appeal the decision but confirmed that the player had missed the deadline on Monday, effectively ending his rugby career in Australia.
“My decision not to commence Rugby Australia’s appeal process is in no way an acceptance of the judicial panel’s findings,” Folau said in a statement.
“I simply do not have confidence in Rugby Australia’s ability to treat me fairly or lawfully throughout this process.”
Folau added that he was considering his options “in the face of growing discontent” with the way Rugby Australia had handled his initial code of conduct hearing.
“The messages of support from fans, players, former rugby administrators and the public have been humbling,” he said.
“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 my career is substantial.
“Ultimately, 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.”
The saga has already hit the 30-year-old hard in the pocket, costing him a lucrative endorsement contract with sportswear brand Asics, as well as legal fees.
However, the cash-strapped RA can also ill-afford a protracted court challenge.