Rugby: Israel Folau set to lose millions if Rugby Australia goes under

Former Wallabies fullback Israel Folau.
Former Wallabies fullback Israel Folau. Photo credit: Getty

Sacked Wallabies star Israel Folau's big payout from Rugby Australia (RA) is at risk, if the  governing body goes under, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year, Folau sued RA for religious discrimination, after he was axed over homophobic social media posts, including one stating hell awaited homosexuals.

After months of dispute, the two parties agreed to a private out-of-court settlement in December, reportedly worth AU$3million.

The Australian reports the settlement is being paid off in instalments and those payments could be decreased significantly, if the financially strapped RA is forced into insolvency.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, RA has stood down 75 percent of its workforce for three months, with under-fire chief executive Raelene Castle taking a 50 percent pay cut.  

Because of the pandemic, the game is staring at a $120m in lost revenue just this year.

Over the weekend, Kiwi Castle's days as RA chief seemed numbered, after reportedly rejecting a AU$20m-per-year offer from Foxtel for broadcast rights, about a third of the current deal.

Wallabies great Phil Kearns loomed as a possible replacement, while former Wallaby Peter FitzSimons believed Castle was the victim of sexism. 

Meanwhile, Folau is living in France, playing with the Catalan Dragons in the English Super League. 

He is reportedly expecting his first child later this year with wife and former Silver Ferns shooter Maria Folau.