Rugby Australia have taken the first step in the formal process of sacking Israel Folau by issuing Folau with a breach notice to which he has 48 hours to respond.
Folau was determined by Rugby Australia’s Integrity Unity to have committed a high-level breach of the code of conduct, for which the punishment is immediate termination of his contract.
Folau has the option of either accepting the sanction or taking the matter further to a code of conduct hearing. It is believed he’s likely to do the latter.
“At its core, this is an issue of the responsibilities an employee owes to their employer and the commitments they make to their employer to abide by their employer’s policies and procedures and adhere to their employer’s values,” said Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle.
“Following the events of last year, Israel was warned formally and repeatedly about the expectations of him as player for the Wallabies and NSW Waratahs with regards to social media use and he has failed to meet those obligations.
“It was made clear to him that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people because of their sexuality will result in disciplinary action.
“All professional Rugby players in Australia are bound by the Code of Conduct and there is a process in place for any disciplinary matter.
“We appreciate that this particular matter will attract significant interest, but due process must be followed.”