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Folau reportedly wants to fight for his career

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Friday, 12 April 2019, 5:40p.m.
Israel Folau wants to hang on to his career. (Photo / Getty)

Israel Folau is fighting for his rugby career, though he is going to find it difficult to convince Rugby Australia. 

The Daily Telegraph have reported that Folau has met with Rugby Australia officials, including Raelene Castle, in a desperate attempt to keep his career alive.

However, according to the report, Rugby Australia are refusing to budge, and are still set to use all their power to terminate his four-year contract.

Rugby Australia last night announced their intention to terminate the Wallabies star's contract - unless the organisation receive "compelling mitigating factors" - after he sparked controversy by posting a message on Instagram declaring "hell awaits" homosexuals unless they repent for their "sins".

At the time of that statement, Folau had failed to communicate directly with Rugby Australia or the New South Wales Rugby Union, but he is now in a quest to save his sporting career.

Folau has the right to go through a code of conduct hearing before Rugby Australia can officially terminate his contract, and according to the Daily Telegraph, he intends to take part in the process.

However, former Rugby Australia boss Gary Flowers told Mike Yardley that RA has not other alternative but to terminate his contract.

"It's well documented what happened some months ago, and I think RA made their position very clear." 

He says that Folau is not allowed to hold views, but he is an ambassador for the sport and has to fit within those boundaries. 

"I wouild have thought if Israel felt so strongly about it, he would not have signed the contract, but he did sign it." 

Flowers says that diversity is very important to rugby. 

However, there has been intense backlash from the public. Flowers says that Castle is in a very difficult position, but that she should stick by her principles.

"While it can be difficult, I think coming from a princople position allows you the high ground. Israel is a fabulous player, he is really important to Australian rugby, and in many respects he is a great ambassador. On this issue, I think it is really a line in the sand sort of issue." 

Channel 9 cameras spotted Folau at a cafe in Sydney's eastern suburbs with his wife Maria and two other men but the 30-year-old wasn't in a talkative mood when approached by the network's reporter Hannah Sinclair.

Asked how he felt about his contract being torn up or if he regretted his actions, Folau said "no" before getting into a car and driving away.

He was also seen meeting with Rugby Union Players Association boss Prataal Raj to sort out his plans.

Folau was initially contracted until the end of 2022, but with the NRL also announcing that they will not employ Folau, his sporting career could be in tatters with no other options if his contract is indeed torn up.

"Earning $1 million a season, Folau must make a compelling case of mitigating factors at the code of conduct hearing if he is to overturn RA's decision," explained the Daily Telegraph.

Folau had just last week become Super Rugby's all-time leading try scorer, and if terminated, he would be unable to complete the season with the Waratahs or play for the Wallabies at the Rugby World Cup.


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