17 Apr 2019

Folau has until 4pm to appeal sacking as fight set to drag on

6:49 am on 17 April 2019

Wallabies star Israel Folau may have to wait a while for a code of conduct hearing - if he decides to appeal his sacking by today's deadline.

Australia's Israel Folau scores a try


Rugby Australia issued him with a breach notice on Monday - terminating his contract for his latest anti-gay comments on social media.

The fullback has until 4pm NZ time to appeal the sanction.

If Folau accepts the punishment - he would leave without getting a payout.

It's more likely he will choose to appeal the decision on religious grounds and freedom of speech - though he has stated he is prepared to walk away from the game for the sake of his faith.

Given there are Easter public holidays on Friday - and next Monday - as well as Anzac Day next Thursday - it's highly unlikely any hearing would be conducted until the following week.

The hearing process would involve a panel of three, a representative of RA, a representative of the players' union RUPA and an independent person approved by both organisations, who would be the chair.

The religiously-motivated Folau posted: "Warning. Drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolators. Hell awaits you. Repent! Only Jesus saves."

RA chief executive officer Raelene Castle has stressed the action taken against Folau is about the issue of the responsibilities an employee owes to their employer rather than punishment for his religious beliefs.

Castle said Folau was warned formally and repeatedly last year about the expectation of him as a Wallabies and Waratahs player in regards to his social media use, following some previous controversial posts, and asserts the gifted back has failed to meet those obligations.