Wallabies superstar Israel Folau has requested a code of conduct hearing over his breach notice from Rugby Australia (RA) as his multi-million dollar contract hangs in the balance.
Unless successful at the hearing, Folau faces the sack after being issued with a “high-level” breach notice over controversial social media posts he made on April 10.
“Israel has responded formally today to request a code of conduct hearing which, under the circumstances, was not an unexpected outcome,” said RA CEO Raelene Castle..
“We will now work to confirm a date for the hearing as soon as possible.”
Given there are Easter public holidays on Friday and next Monday then Anzac Day next Thursday, it seems unlikely the hearing will be conducted until the following week.
The hearing process will 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 attracted a fresh storm of controversy when he posted on Instagram: “Warning. Drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolators. Hell awaits you. Repent! Only Jesus saves.”
Rugby Australia says that public stance goes against their policy of inclusion.
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 similar controversial posts.
She has stressed the action taken against Folau is about the issue of responsibilities an employee owes to their employer rather than punishment for his religious beliefs.
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