Folau fallout could send rugby into freefall
ISRAEL Folau is set to bring Australian rugby to its knees by taking his employer to the Supreme Court if his contract is torn up.
A decision by the three-person panel is expected Friday, and it's understood they will enforce the termination of his $4 million deal.
However, The Daily Telegraph has learned that Folau is so resolute in his belief that he's being religiously persecuted, he will brush the option of a second code of conduct hearing to appeal a termination decision, and instead head straight to court.
Folau has already rejected a $1 million settlement offer by Rugby Australia, and it's now understood no amount of money will convince him to drop the case and walk away.
The 30-year-old Wallabies star wants to make a statement to the world about religious expression, and money is not his primary objective, as he has stated recently during sermons at his church.
That creates a potentially catastrophic situation for RA, who have already spent more than $350,000 in legal fees attempting to sack Folau for his social media post vilifying homosexuals and other sinners on April 10.
It's estimated that a battle in court to resolve the matter could take up to 18 months, costing millions.
RA is already bracing for an $8 million shortfall in revenue next year due to reduced home Test matches in a World Cup year, while broadcast discussions indicate there could be rapidly reduced prices offered for the next television deal.
Folau is unshakeable in his conviction that he's talking to God and acting out the Lord's commandments.
He views his predicament as a test of his faith, and will therefore take it to its full conclusion.
This could well send the game broke.
Rugby is in a precarious financial situation but a costly, drawn out legal case would also result in loss of sponsors and fans.
RA chief executive Raelene Castle is under increasing pressure to hold onto her job, and the Folau saga could well be her undoing.
The panel of John West QC, Kate Eastman SC, and John Boultbee AM has already found Folau guilty of a high-level breach of RA's professional players' code of conduct for his religious post.
They were expected to hand down their sanction on Thursday, but delayed it, and a judgment is likely on Friday.
Folau rejected an offer to take down the post, which would have indicated remorse, allowing him to continue playing because the breach would have been classed in the low to mid-tier level.
Folau told his churchgoers that was an offer from Satan.
He will not take the post down, nor stop posting religious material that could be deemed as vilification by others.
Folau is done playing rugby.
This is a higher calling for him. He is willing to be a martyr for his Christian cause.
And rugby will burn while he does so.