Israel Folau ramps up compo claim against Rugby Australia

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Israel Folau has upped his compensation claim against Rugby Australia, with the sacked NRL star now demanding $14 million in damages.

He claims in new court documents he could have captained the Wallabies rugby team and is now demanding $14m, up from his earlier claim of $10m.

Folau said the termination of his contract lost him $4.2 million to 2022. He is also claiming he lost Test match payments, potential sponsorship revenue, “Israel Folau-branded kids camp payments” and “post-playing career monetary benefits” over more than decade.

Folau argued the Wallabies would have achieved a “superior performance” at this year’s Rugby World Cup if he had been selected. He also claimed he could have become captain of the national rugby union side, lifting his earnings.

The 30-year-old claims he would have secured a multi-million dollar deal overseas, totalling an alleged estimate of $14 million in lost revenue.

“Mr Folau can no longer play rugby union at an international level (because he is only eligible to play for the Wallabies) or for an Australian team in the Super Rugby competition,” the documents read.

“[The sanction] is therefore an unreasonable restraint of trade, contrary to public policy, and void.

“It was a breach of the player contract for Rugby Australia and Rugby NSW to terminate the player contract in the absence of any valid finding by the tribunal.”

Rugby Australia tore up Folau’s contract after they determined he had breached their code of conduct when he claimed on social media “hell awaits” gay people. He claimed in a separate post transgender people were evil and should repent.

The case will go to trial in the Federal Circuit Court in February.

Rugby Australia stands by decision to sack Israel Folau

However Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle has defended the governing body’s ­decis­ion to sack Israel Folau.

She told The Australian Rugby Australia would also be in turmoil if Folau had been ­allowed to stay.

“I don’t think you can go through an issue like this and not think there were some things you could have done better. Of course there are,” she said.

“But the decis­ion to seek his termination was the right one.

“Subsequent public comments by Israel over the past few weeks — if you play that through, of him still being a Wallabies player inside­ Rugby Australia — would have sent this organisation into ­another backflip.

“We took a stand on what was right. We will work through that process in court.”

But she still hoped they could resolve the matter when they meet in Melbourne on Monday for a settlement conference.

Israel Folau slammed for anti-gay bushfire sermon

Earlier this month, Israel Folau sparked outrage for claiming in a sermon at his church the deadly bushfires were “God’s punishment” for same-sex marriage and abortion.

Even Prime Minister Scott Morrison, an evangelical Christian, slammed the sermon as “appallingly insensitive”.

However last weekend, Folau doubled down, telling churchgoers in a new sermon to “preach the truth without fear”.

“We must have the spirit within us to be able to stand up and preach the truth without fear,” Folau said.

“Every single day we must continue to rely on what God says, and what his word is.

“That’s final, that’s authority, and that’s what gives us the power to be able to go forth and do what he asks us to do.”

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