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Rugby Australia ends Folau’s contract

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Wallabies and Waratahs fullback Israel Folau has been served with a breach of notice by the Australian Rugby Union after his posts on social media platforms Twitter and Instagram on April 10.

The Rugby Australia Integrity Unit deemed that Folau had committed a high-level breach of the Professional Players’ Code of Conduct warranting termination of his employment contract. Folau has 48 hours to accept the sanction or have the matter referred to a Code of Conduct hearing.

Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Raelene Castle said: “At its core, this is an issue of the responsibilities an employee owes to their employer and the commitments they make to their employer to abide by their employer’s policies and procedures and adhere to their employer’s values.

“Following the events of last year, Israel was warned formally and repeatedly about the expectations of him as player for the Wallabies and NSW Waratahs with regards to social media use and he has failed to meet those obligations. It was made clear to him that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people because of their sexuality will result in disciplinary action.

“All professional Rugby players in Australia are bound by the Code of Conduct and there is a process in place for any disciplinary matter. We appreciate that this particular matter will attract significant interest, but due process must be followed.”

Folau was notified last week that his posts were not acceptable but he has yet to remove the posts and is standing by them.

Speaking after a service at the Truth Of Jesus Christ Church, he told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper: “I share it with love. I can see the other side of the coin where people’s reactions are the total opposite to how I’m sharing it.

“First and foremost, I live for God now. Whatever He wants me to do, I believe His plans for me are better than whatever I can think. If that’s not to continue on playing, so be it,” he added.

“In saying that, obviously I love playing footy and if it goes down that path I’ll definitely miss it. But my faith in Jesus Christ is what comes first.”

Folau has won 73 caps for Australia and after becoming Super rugby’s top try scorer in his last match would have been a certainty to make the Australian Rugby world cup squad.

 

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