Wallabies star Israel Folau may have to wait a while for a code of conduct hearing, if he decides on that option on Wednesday, rather than accept the termination of his contract.
The RA 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, who signed a new four-year contract back in February, was given 48 hours to accept the sanction or have the matter referred to to a Code of Conduct hearing,.
If Folau accepts the sanction by the deadline of Wednesday 2pm (AEST) he would leave without getting a payout.
It’s considered more likely he will choose the other option, 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 and 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.
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.