Folau still refuses to accept the consequences of his 'free speech'
Folau still refuses to accept the consequences of his 'free speech'

Folau silent as appeal window slams shut

Israel Folau has not even contacted Rugby Australia as his window to appeal his contract termination slammed shut on Monday afternoon, Rugby Australia has claimed in a statement.

Folau's no show means his employment contract has been terminated after the 72-hour appeal window expired without a peep from the former Wallabies fullback.

Folau is instead expected to pursue his legal options of challenging the three-person panel's decision to terminate his contract through the Supreme Court.

Folau was found guilty of a high-level breach by a three-person panel over his April 9 social media posts with his contract terminated on Friday.

He then had 72 hours to launch an appeal to trigger a second code of conduct hearing over the matter.

Rugby Australia released a statement just after 2pm (AEST) to announce Folau did not contact officials to tell them of his intent to challenge the ruling.

"The 72-hour window for Israel Folau to appeal his high level code of conduct breach and sanction has expired," Rugby Australia said in a statement.

"As Folau has not notified the panel of his intention to appeal, the code of conduct process has now formally been concluded.

"With the code of conduct matter complete, Folau's employment contract will be terminated."

According to reports, the matter is still far from over, with Folau determined to take the matter to the Supreme Court.

Until then, however, Folau's rugby career is in tatters and his four-year deal, reportedly worth $4 million, remains torn up.

Folau released a statement on Friday afernoon where he confirmed he is still considering further options available to him.

"I am deeply saddened by today's decision to terminate my employment and I am considering my options," he said on Friday after the decision was handed down.

"As Australians, we are born with certain rights, including the right to freedom of religion and the right to freedom of expression. The Christian faith has always been a part of my life and I believe it is my duty as a Christian to share God's word. Upholding my religious beliefs should not prevent my ability to work or play for my club and country."

Meanwhile, international rugby referee Nigel Owens has praised Rugby Australia for sacking Folau.

"It is an important message from the Australian Rugby Union, who I think have dealt with it properly in the only way that they could," he told the BBC.

"It is a clear message going out to people that there are consequences for expressing those beliefs, which are very, very hurtful and not acceptable in today's society.

"Rugby is a sport inclusive for all, which means I can be a part of the sport. When you're in that sport you must respect other people within that sport."

Folau last month posted a biblical quote which said "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters" would go to hell unless they repented.

- with AAP

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