Rugby Australia have hit back at Israel Folau after the fired Wallaby accused the union of leaking the minutes of his Code of Conduct hearing.
A report in The Telegraph this evening contained a letter issued by Israel Folau to the Rugby Australia Board.
Folau wrote: “This is blatantly unfair. As you know, the tribunal hearing must be closed and private, and Rugby Australia was obliged to keep all information confidential.”
“I would like to know why Rugby Australia has not managed to maintain the integrity of its processes and ensure that information was kept private and confidential.”
He suggested that Rugby Australia had been leaking details of the hearing to discredit him.
“For example, I am not ‘sick of rugby’ and whoever told the media that I am is telling lies,” he wrote.
“Another example is the way the media has been told that your expectations were made clear to me by Ms Castle. We all know that is far from the truth.
“It makes me sad that these things have apparently been told to the media by someone at Rugby Australia. If you are not the source, why has no-one come out to set the record straight?”
“I decided not to appeal the panel’s findings because I wasn’t confident you would treat me fairly if I did. This week’s media shows my instincts were right.”
Rugby Australia issued the following statement in response to it his allegations:
“While we accept that a PR firm has been engaged to coordinate a media campaign to promote the legal action taken against Rugby Australia, we are disappointed that this campaign is impacting on the work done by the thousands of volunteers who are delivering great experiences for the Rugby community and also that it has taken the focus away from a crucial Australian Super Rugby derby, being played by Israel’s former team tonight.
“Rugby Australia has acted with complete professionalism and integrity at all times through the process in which Mr Folau was found by an independent three-member tribunal panel to have made multiple, serious breaches of the Professional Players Code of Conduct.
“While we will continue to respond to any legal action as required and will continue to defend the values that underpin our game and the work done by the hard working volunteers, we will not engage in a running media commentary.”
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