Folau and Rugby Australia set for court after failing to reach agreement
Israel Folau and Rugby Australia (RA) are set to take their dispute to court after failing to reach a settlement regarding the full-back's sacking over his controversial social media activity.
Devout Christian Folau saw his contract terminated by RA and the Waratahs for a "high-level breach" after he posted on Instagram to say that "hell awaits…drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters".
Folau had been warned over his conduct for similar posts in the past, and the 30-year-old began a GoFundMe page to raise money for his legal challenge against RA.
That was subsequently shut down by GoFundMe, while a second page – through the Australian Christian Lobby – has been paused after receiving donations totalling more than two million Australian dollars.
Prior to Friday's hearing with the Fair Work Commission, Folau stated he was seeking an apology from RA for what he feels was an unfair dismissal on religious grounds.
But it seems any attempted mediation between the two parties was unsuccessful, with proceedings set to advance to court.
"Unless things change we will be heading to court," said Folau's lawyer, while the player himself added: "I am very disappointed about the outcome today.
"I would like to thank all those who supported me throughout this time. And I will continue to stand up for the freedoms of all Australians."
RA and NSW Rugby Union also expressed their own regret that an agreement could not be found.
"Rugby Australia and NSW Rugby Union are incredibly disappointed that today's Fair Work conciliation has been unsuccessful and did not reach a resolution," a statement read.
"We remain confident in our processes and will continue to do what is required to defend the values that underpin our game."