5 May 2019

Israel Folau rejects $1 million settlement offer - report

2:52 pm on 5 May 2019

Wallabies fullback Israel Folau reportedly rejected a $AU1 million offer from Rugby Australia to walk away from his contract ahead of this weekend's code of conduct hearing, local media reported.

Wallabies fullback Israel Folau.

Wallabies fullback Israel Folau. Photo: Photosport

Folau, a fundamentalist Christian, faced a three-member panel on Saturday who will decide whether he breached RA's code of conduct with a social media post that said "hell" awaited "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers" and others.

The hearing continued on Sunday with no decision expected before Monday at the earliest.

But the Sunday Telegraph reported that Folau could have avoided it if he had agreed to accept a sum equivalent to one year of his lucrative contract.

RA and Folau's Super Rugby team, the New South Wales Waratahs, have already publicly committed to terminating Folau's contract and last month served the 73-test back with a "high-level" breach notice.

That said his social media post had "disrespected" people on the basis of their sexuality in breach of his contract and Rugby Australia's inclusion policy.

Folau was issued a formal warning after a similar post last year but attempts by Rugby Australia to include specific clauses about social media posts in the contract the player signed in February were rejected, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

The record Super Rugby try-scorer's high powered legal team will argue that Folau was merely quoting scripture and not directly disrespecting any individual, the newspaper added.

Folau, RA chief executive Raelene Castle and Wallabies coach Michael Cheika all gave "oral evidence" on day one of the hearing, the governing body said in a statement.

The offending post, which has attracted 53,000 likes and 47,700 comments, remains on Folau's Instagram page.

- Reuters