No ‘amicable solution’ between Israel Folau and RA

Date published: December 2 2019

Israel Folau and Rugby Australia failed to reach an agreement in their mediation meeting on Monday, but talks will continue on Wednesday.

The respective parties were in negotiations for 12 hours but were unable to come to a resolution.

Folau was sacked by the governing body earlier this year after posting on Instagram that “hell awaits” homosexual people.

He has contested the punishment and taken RA to court, initially claiming AUS$10million in compensation before increasing that to 14 last week.

The former full-back’s solicitor George Haros told reporters that they failed to find an “amicable solution” but is confident in resolving the dispute.

“Where we stand is that mediation remains on foot and (we) are hopeful to reach one (an agreement) in the coming days,” Haros said.

Folau posted a video before the meeting defending his position following months of controversy.

“I understand that not everyone shares my faith and some find it difficult to reconcile with their own beliefs,” he said.

“I want to be clear that I only share passages from the Bible as a gesture of love. We pray that we might all find redemption and peace in the words of the Lord Jesus Christ as we head to today’s mediation, we also ask that He watches over us, so that both parties might realise the courage to uphold the truth.”

Meanwhile, Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle said that she has been sent messages of support, which has strengthened her resolve on the matter.

“That leaves us in no doubt that we are doing what’s right,” Castle told reporters outside court in Melbourne. “Israel’s commentary subsequent to his termination has only reinforced this belief.”

“Israel admitted he had caused harm with his comments and stated that he would not curb his social media use and will post whatever he likes whenever he feels the need to share his views.”

“Rugby Australia is confident in its legal position but we come here today with a genuine desire to find a settlement that is sensible and reasonable so that we can return all our focus and resources to growing the game of rugby across Australia.”