Rugby Israel Folau begins legal case against Rugby Australia and NSW Waratahs over sacking

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Israel Folau has formally launched Federal court proceedings against Rugby Australia and the New South Wales Waratahs over his dismissal for a code of conduct breach, the former Wallabies full-back said on Thursday.

Folau’s four-year contract was torn up in May after he posted a meme on social media that said hell awaited ‘drunks, homosexuals, adulterers’ and other groups.

“Unfortunately, our conciliation before the Fair Work Commission did not resolve the matters between us and I have been left with no choice but to commence court action,” the statement read.

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Folau, a fundamentalist Christian, and his supporters have painted the issue as one of freedom of speech and the case could have ramifications for employee rights.

A Rugby Australia tribunal found Folau had made a “high-level breach” of its code of conduct, which demands players treat “everyone equally, fairly and with dignity”.

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