Israel Folau is set to launch legal action against Rugby Australia following the termination of his contract over a social media post in which he said that “hell awaits” gay people and others he considers sinners.
A report in the Australian Financial Review this week revealed that Folau had hired commercial law firm Macpherson Kelley to prepare a legal challenge, which was expected to be filed by the end of the week.
Folau was quoted as saying: “All I ask is to be treated fairly and by the law.”
The 30-year-old former rugby league and Australian rules football player, who has spent the past six years playing for rugby union side New South Wales Waratahs and the national Wallabies team, was sacked by the national governing body after he posted "Drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators – Hell awaits you" on Instagram in April.
A three-member panel which heard his appeal last month found him guilty of a “high-level” breach of Rugby Australia's player code of conduct.
He chose not to appeal against the tribunal ruling, citing a lack of confidence in the process.
Folau, who is fourth in the list of all-time try scorers for Australia and has 62 caps for the national side, was raised a Mormon before becoming an active member of an Assemblies of God fellowship in 2011.
His contract was worth a reported AUS$4 million (£2.1 million/$2.8 million/€2.5 million).