Tuesday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
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Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News doesn’t have a lot of fun stories, with Folau saga likely to continue in court, Crusaders players accused of homophobic attacks, Jordan Petaia still hopeful of World Cup call up and Steve Hansen backs SBW.


 

FOLAU DECLINES TO CHALLANGE TRIBUNAL

2017-Wallabies-v-Italy-13

Given RA/ARU’s history with the phrase 72 hours, it is impressive that this wasn’t dragged out longer.

The 72 hour window has closed on Israel Folau’s chance to appeal the tribunal ruling after Folau declined to appeal the decision.

RA confirmed it had not received an appeal request on Monday.

“The 72-hour window for Israel Folau to appeal his high-level Code of Conduct breach and sanction has expired,” a RA statement said.

“As Folau has not notified the panel of his intention to appeal, the Code of Conduct process has now formally concluded.

“With the Code of Conduct matter complete, Folau’s employment contract will be terminated.”

With that the saga is finally over and we can all move on. 

Folau also released a statement on Monday.

“The last few weeks and, in particular, the last 72 hours have given me considerable opportunity to reflect and think about my future,” Folau said.

“I will not be exercising my right to appeal Rugby Australia’s decision to terminate my employment contract.”

“My decision not to commence Rugby Australia’s appeal process is in no way an acceptance of the judicial panel’s findings,” he said.

“I simply do not have confidence in Rugby Australia’s ability to treat me fairly or lawfully throughout this process.”

“The messages of support from fans, players, former rugby administrators and the public have been humbling,” Folau said.

“I believe I still have a lot of rugby left in me and the potential impact of Rugby Australia’s decision on my reputation and my career is substantial.

“Ultimately, I need to do what is best for my family, my teammates and the fans, so I am considering all potential avenues open to me.”

Ok so given that statement maybe the saga won’t be over anytime soon, given Folau has a right to challenge this decision in the Supreme Court. The Daily Telegraph are reporting that Folau and his legal team are gearing up for a fight in the courts.

After his first incident with a homophobic post on integral last year, Folau wrote that if his religion got in the way of Rugby he would walk away.

“After we’d all talked, I told Raelene if she felt the situation had become untenable — that I was hurting Rugby Australia, its sponsors and the Australian rugby community to such a degree that things couldn’t be worked through — I would walk away from my contract, immediately,” Folau wrote.

The Daily Telegraph also claim that the ATO is monitoring the donations to Folau’s legal team, to ensure no one funnels donations through The Truth Of Jesus Christ Church in order to get a tax deduction. 

Sorry for getting your hopes up folks, looks like this is going to run longer and disappoint more people than Game of Thrones.

CRUSADERS ‘STRONGLY REFUTE’ ALLEGATIONS

The Crusaders have come out against allegations that their players were involved in an altercation at a McDonalds in Cape Town following their 19 all draw with the Stormers.

Accusations have been made via Instagram user @alxethelion posted a series of videos and Twitter user @adamlennox posted a note on his account about the incident claiming they are met with homophobic slurs and physical intimidation.

Alexandros Paterimos aka @alxethelion has continued to share videos, screenshots and photos to his instagram story detailing the incident and the response from the Crusaders.

“We were attacked by members of the New Zealand rugby team in the McDonald’s on Long/Kloof St last night,” @adamlennoxx wrote on Twitter.

“As we entered, we were met with jeering and sniggers from them.

“They then proceeded to record us as a joke (also, upon looking on his phone screen, it was a recording for either Insta/Snapchat). When catching them in the act, they told us they did it because we looked funny to them.

“They then said they can record us in a public space if they want to. Upon telling them that this is wrong, they then began physically intimidating us (coming up to our faces, telling us we better stop arguing or they will ‘f**k us up if we don’t watch it’).

“Then, after arguing that straight white men are losing power – we were met with homophobic slurs, limp wrists and high-pitched voices, which were clearly in gest [sic].”

Pasterimos has shared images of the players accused of the incident, two of which are All Blacks.

The Crusaders released this statement on Monday.

“The BNZ Crusaders have been made aware  of allegations of an incident in Cape Town involving some of our players,” the statement read.

“Allegations have been made via social media that there was a verbal altercation between members of the public and some Crusaders players who were out getting food after the match against the Stormers in Cape Town. The original post claimed players exhibited homophobic behaviour.

“The three players, team management and the South African-base security advisor with them strongly refute the socialised account of what happened. They are devastated  by the allegation and the implication of the homophobic behaviour.”

Crusaders CEO Colin Mainsbridgeis confident that the team’s version of events was accurate.

“This is an organisation that is committed to inclusivity and is proud to have earned the Rainbow Tick certification. That is what makes these allegations particularly distressing,” he said.

“Given the serious nature of these allegations I will be meeting with team management and players on their return to Christchurch, however I am confident in the account that we have received from the team and the security advisor who was present.”

This incident couldn’t have come at a worse time for Rugby given all that has occurred in Australia with the Israel Folau Saga.

All Black coach Steve Hansen said he was unaware of the incident but had addressed the playing group regarding the use of social media.

“Obviously you’ve got to be aware of what you’re doing on social media,” Hansen said.

“It’s a pretty big platform and you’ve got to be sensible about it.

“People can have their own beliefs — there’s nothing wrong with that as long it’s not damaging the team or the organisation you work for.”

This won’t be going away anytime soon.

PETAIA STILL HAS HOPE FOR WORLD CUP CALL UP

Jordan Petaia

Jordan Petaia

Finally ditching his moon boot after two months, and Queensland Reds young gun Jordan Petaia is still hopefully he can make it back for the World Cup.

The 19 year old had to have surgery on his foot to repair the lisfranc ligament, after an injury in the second round of Super Rugby ruled him out for the season.

It was a massive blow to Petaia and the Reds after he starred in the season opener against the Highlanders, and was set to put his hand up for the Wallaby 13 jersey.

“I was pretty devastated, not just for myself but for the team also,” Petaia said.

“Playing with Samu in the centres that game was pretty fun and then having to go out that early in the season was pretty frustrating.

“It took me a while to get over it.”

This marks the second time injury has broken the heart of young Petaia, succumbing to a hamstring injury after he was named to debut for the Wallabies against Italy last year.

“Every game I’m watching it just sucks, I wish I was out there,” he said.

“It’s frustrating.”

Petaia was present at the Wallabies camp in Brisbane over the weekend and though hell miss the Super Rugby season, is hopeful he can make it back and join the Wallabies squad.

“(I got out of the boot) maybe two weeks ago, so it’s going well,” Petaia said.

“I was on crutches for about four or five weeks, then I was probably in a moon boot for about eight weeks.”

“It’s just a frustrating injury really because it’s a lot of weight-bearing on it , so it’s a bit of a hassle to get around,” Petaia said.

“You’ve got to tick all the boxes first and make sure everything’s travelling all right before you get on.”

It will be a tough long road for Petaia to try and make the squad, with Cheika and the selectors likely wanting to see Jordan in action for his club before he gets a gold jersey and a World Cup call up.

But Petaia is refusing to give up.

“I’ll just see how my injury’s tracking, I’ll just focus on rehab and returning to play club footy and see where I go from there,” he said when asked about the possibility of being ready by the Rugby Championship opener in July.

“I haven’t (given up on the World Cup).

“I’ll just get back and see what happens and then see how the season goes.”

 

 SBW STILL A WORLD CUP CHANCE

Sonny Bill Williams signing autographs

Sonny Bill Williams signing autographs

Sonny Bill Williams has enough good will with Steve Hansen that all he needs to do is show his fitness to be selected for the World Cup according to the All Blacks coach.

A member of the 2011 and 2015 World Cup winning sides, 33 year old Williams has been sidelined since March with a knee injury that required an arthroscope. This is another in a long line of injuries suffered by Williams since the 2015 World Cup.

Questions have begun to be asked about Williams potential selection for the World Cup.

“I understand why people would say he’s running out of time. But is he really?” Hansen told reporters in Auckland on Monday.

“He’s already proved himself. He’s played 51 tests. That’s a lot of Test matches, that’s a lot of proving.

“What we need to see is him getting back on the track. Then we’ve got to ask ourselves is his fitness good enough for him to be selected in the team?

“We play five Test matches before we have to name the World Cup team, so does he deserve the opportunity to show us whether he’s still good enough?

“Of course he does because he’s played 50 Test matches.”

Williams is back running and is expected to be eligible for selection for the Blues in two weeks.

Hansen will likely take four centres to the World Cup and will be spoilt for choice with Williams, Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue, Anton Leinert-Brown and Ngani Laumape. Ma’a Nonu who hasn’t played for the All Blacks since 2015 is a dark horse to get the call up as well.

Hansen added that other senior players like Ben Smith (hamstring), Owen Franks (shoulder), Dane Coles (calf) and Brodie Retallick (wrist) were progressing well in their recovery from injuries.

 

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Seems likely Folau may challenge this in the courts. RA could be set to lose a lot of money if Folau wins, as they’ll have to pay out his contract and also will pay huge legal fees.

    • The thing I don’t understand is the I still want to play rugby comments. No Aussie super side will touch him and if he really wants to play there are games every wiin Sydney. And big contracts overseas.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        He seems to love the sport. It’s sad for him.

        • Greg

          I think it is sad for everyone.

          I think Mr Folau made a decision to do something with a full understanding of the likely ramifications.

          Even if he could not understand the consequences himself, his manager would have explained them. Perhaps this is the reason for the breakdown in the relationship with his manager?

        • Yowie

          There is a strong “celebrate the martyr” theme running through a lot of Christianity.

          It goes a long way to explain this for example – https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-22/isolated-tribesmen-kill-american-on-remote-indian-island/10520806

          While many would find a way to comfortably be devout and also steer clear of employer-directed red button issues, I wonder if Folau saw his situation in those martyr-like terms. Eg getting extra points for “dying on that hill” – all the better if big money is sacrificed to do so.

          Conversely, not being able to live with oneself if he “took the money and stopped passing on the good word”.

        • joy

          The last paragraph is odds on.

        • Kevino

          Don’t forget he wouldn’t listen to his manager,

          Went uncontactable for a few days, that was really the nail in his own coffin. When RUPA said they would support him but don’t agree with what he said he was screwed again.

        • joy

          RUPA disagrees with more than 50% of the people it represents!

        • Who?
        • fatman

          If he loves the sport so much maybe he should have taken the time to learn how to play. He loves the money, not the game.

      • Yowie

        Is a spot on the wing or at fullback with the Sydney Convicts completely ruled out for him?

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Maybe interpret it to “still be paid for doing bugger all” and it makes sense

    • Also I don’t think they’ll lose and Folau will jave to pay costs.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I’ve spoken with a few barristers and some legal academics, and they’ve all been unsure as to what the outcome will be. They all think Folau has a chance though.

        I’ve been researching trying to find if there is any legislative or case law in NSW that makes discriminating for religion in employment situations illegal, but haven’t found any yet.

        But the law is very complicated, and the only people who are experts are the barristers specialising in labour law.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Courts may rule that doing something likely to jeopardise his employers sponsorship is breaching the code of conduct and therefore contract, and that the style of his post combined with the subject matter does that. They may see the religious aspect as incidental.

          But NSW has less protection for religious behaviour than other places.

        • Nutta

          My understanding is that he’s toast. There are a few trying to beat up the angle of freedom to have and express religion but that’s a furphy as there is ample case-law concerning expression of all sorts of stuff that contradicts a company position resulting in termination. From what I can ascertain there were multiple communiques about what qualified as acceptable and non-acceptable comms. Whilst having a specific clause in his contract would have been preferable, all that’s really required is the good old ‘abide by company policies and procedures as they change from time to time’ clause and given he was duly informed then he’s shot. Given he has now reportedly both knocked back a fair settlement (1-2yrs worth of the deal value depending on source) and given he now publicly cites the employer as untrustworthy and unfair there is no hope for resumption, reconciliation or even an amicable ‘parting of ways’.

          So it now becomes a battle of the lawyers and the cheque-books to last out the fight. In that fight I would actually back RA and their network as being better equipped to last that battle of attrition given the opponent is one unemployed footy player.

          First stop would be the old Human Rights Comm and then off to civil court with the bill ticking over in 6min increments along the way…

          https://youtu.be/RJ0hOKCSuns

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          The thing is, I don’t think the communications on what RA said was acceptable and what wasn’t will be relevant in a legal context. That applied to RAs own process, and almost certainly contributed to Folau’s termination.

          But the legal question is now whether how the Code of Conduct applied in this context (sacking Folau for a religious view) was illegal under anti-discrimination law. The courts won’t uphold a contractual clause or code of conduct that is illegal.

          What Andrew says is correct as far as I can tell, in that there are fewer protections in NSW than all other states and territories (and there are also further exceptions in the Fair Work Act), but we can’t be certain about the law until it is tested.

          I suspect RA will first rely on the argument that they didn’t sack him for his religious views, but for bringing himself (and thus the sport) into disrepute and for threatening the sport’s financial sustiainability.

          If I were a betting man, I’d probably back RA. But I still think Folau has a chance, and it would be in everyone’s best interests for this to be settled out of courts.

        • Greg

          PS…. a lawyer will always say someone has a chance, i.e. that the case is arguable :-) Hello fees!

        • Yowie

          That’s just probability. If the best case has a 90% chance of winning in court at best, what does that tell us about the worst case?

          Hence the sense in reaching agreed settlements, even if you’re playing a strong hand.

        • Hoss

          Yep mate. Whats the ‘opportunity cost’ of proving you are right ? My guess the payout would have been substantially less than anticipated legal fees of a prolonged legal battle. Not too mention the commercial damage to the code as well.

          I say to my staff to this day – ‘being right can come at a cost & its often better to surrender the battle to win the war’.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          They often are though. Cases are really clear cut.

        • Andy

          It will be interesting to see how the law settles it’s own conflicts. As there are clear protections for people who belong to the LGBT community against being discriminated against or vilified/abused but there are also clear protections for people to express their religious beliefs.

        • Greg

          I see Peacewreck’s comment below is being held for moderation… I don’t understand that tbh unless we are finally banning all discussion on Mr Folau so that we can talk about rugby.

          my response….
          – If I am paid $1M pa then I think there is probably little in my life that is “nothing to do with work”.
          – If I am frequently photographed in my work uniform then I am reinforcing the notion that I am representing my employer.
          – If there is only one company in the country that will pay me $1M pa
          then the association between me and that employer is very clear.

          Personally, I have never been paid $1M pa and never will be. Nevertheless, I think the points above are reasonable.

        • Nutta

          In reply to Pearcewreck (because it’s held to mods):

          Most of the time they are held anonymous (privacy) but here’s a couple of fairly a-typical one’s to check out about online material breaching policy leading to termination being upheld:

          Credit Corp & FWC – material in breach of company policy
          Egis Road Operations & FWC – clearly identify employee and employer
          Hutchinson & FWC – circulation of offensive materials

          But again these are under FWC. Folou won’t be.

        • Patrick

          He’s not toast. The fact that they specifically discussed banning this exact conduct and *did not do so* because he refused, and then *discussed* it, looks really really bad if you are arguing that there was some kind of binding undertaking not to do this.

          I think at least 60/40 in Folau’s favor at this stage.

        • Nutta

          You may well be right. The lottery of the courthouse is just that – lottery.

        • HomerJ

          It is not about discriminating against his religion and he is not the victim. He went against his employers values and contract. He refused to take down the offending and discriminatory post or apologise. His employer had no other course of action to take. If any employee in any workplace in Australia did something similar they would have to face the music. If he had apologised for offending people he would still have a job. He can worship the great spaghetti god if he wants but you cant vilify others just because they prefer fettuccine.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Whether or not I agree, what matters is what the law says, not what I think!.

        • joy

          People make laws and people change them
          .

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          What’s your point? The people on GAGR don’t make the laws.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          He didn’t vilify anyone. And religious activities are protected in most places in Australia. Not so much in NSW. His employer had no other course of action due to sponsorship issues.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yes he did. The fact that he took his statement from another writing is irrelevant. He posted on it on social media and then wrote many times that he agreed with it. That is vilifying the people it refers to.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          No – he’s warning people that if they don’t repent they will end up in a bad place. That’s a warning due to concerns about people’s well being. Misplaced probably. Unwanted by many certainly. But not vilification.

          The source of it, and refusing to take it down has no bearing on if it is vilification or not.

        • HomerJ

          Andrew I believe it is the literal definition of vilification, he has cast aspersions on different groups of people that do not identify with his beliefs. We can not translate the intent of his message as defence, as taken at face value its impact on various groups is unquestionable.

        • Who?

          NSW anti-discrimination law defines vilification as a public act that could incite or encourage hatred, serious contempt or severe ridicule towards people because of the above characteristics.

          He didn’t incite hatred, contempt or ridicule.
          It’s quite arguable that he’s been much more vilified… He’s certainly copped hatred, contempt and ridicule.

        • onlinesideline

          addititionally one could argue that his followers on insta voluntarily pursued him and what he has to say by following him in the first place.
          No joke.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Problem with that argument is that it is clear to a reasonable person that people who don’t choose to follow him might find our (eg I don’t think many people here follow him on Instagram but jeez do we all know).

        • Andrew Luscombe

          More than might find out, be barraged with it more like.

          But what rights do religious people have to an online place to discuss things? Churches are mostly open to the public. No journalist would feel comfortable sitting in a church for a year waiting for a line from a minister that they could then turn into a juicy headline. I bet they’d find more than one per year in plenty of churches. They’d feel like they were intruding and dishonestly being there, because they were in a special purpose labelled building surrounded by people obviously interested in, and even seriously depending on, the minister’s words. They wouldn’t even do it in Folau’s Church waiting for him to say something. But they’ll similarly monitor a similar online forum waiting for any slip up, even though it ‘s purpose is clear and they know they are among interested people, provided it’s author is a public figure.

          The result is that no public figure can honestly partake in many things online that they can physically, and even most people feel they can’t be open and upfront about things, and can’t even do things in the flesh that they’d like to. Presumably your real surname isn’t “The Brumbies”. Even the exit polls on the weekend election were wrong because a few percent of people feel so belittled by mobs that they won’t tell a person conducting a survey who they just voted for 1 minute ago. Same with Brexit polls, and same with the Trump election polls (by the way don’t take that as any indication of support for Trump, Brexit, or the Libs).

          The situation with the media these days is truly crap – battling mobs – but it affects way more than online life. Government business (e.g. during Brexit) can’t even be carried on because debate is governed by battling mobs riled up by journalists writing headlines, and politicians are responding to it in various ways.

          But RA and it’s sponsors have to live with the media, and that means sacking someone who is too controversial.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          People have done it with mosques, and would, I believe, do it with churches too if it was going to get a story.

          Were Folau to return to rugby, I actually suspect there may be tabloid journalists going to his church to listen out to what he says to be honest.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          I think you’ll have to provide a link before I’ll belive that, and even then there’s probably some eceptional circumstances.

        • Who?

          Wasn’t that why some bishop in Tassie was up on charges of defaming Islam..? Pretty sure they were eventually dropped, but I heard something about that a while ago….

        • Patrick

          That was a set up – they went to the church hoping to be offended and then complained as a test of the Victorian anti hate speech laws.

          Didn’t work, from memory.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Christianity teaches that everyone is a sinner i.e. everyone is born with desires to sin in various ways. Folau clearly belives that.

          Christian sinning is different to laws or most rules – avoiding sin is an aspirational challenge. It is not a matter of you did a bad sin so you go to hell. Everyone is expected to sin to some degree. You just need to repent – i.e. be sorry about not successfully avoiding sin.

          For him to say someone is a sinner is just saying you are human and so you need to be mindful of sin.

          He has not cast aspertions on anyone.

          Also vilification is more than casting aspertions, it is saying someone is particularly bad i.e. something like criminal in status.

        • joy

          Why aren’t those mortally offended people all over this website?

        • Greg

          because we are meant to be talking about Rugby!!

        • Damo

          Bravo Greg. And I’m pretty sure that everything that can be said on this subject on this site has been said.

        • Bluey

          Sponsorship might be a consideration, but RA following through on its commitment to running a game for all is the more important factor.

        • Greg

          I would argue that RA had no other choice for standard employer/employee relationship issues.

          1. I do x.
          2. My employer says that is not acceptable, please don’t do it again.
          3. I do x.
          4. I am terminated.

          The employer/employee trust is completely broken.

          Indeed I can pursue court action to show that “X” is OK. I will nevertheless ever work for the company again. Even if I was awarded the right to, given that the trust is broken, I would choose not to.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Yes, good point. But in this case he was dismissed for breaching the code of conduct, not for disobeying a workplace instruction.

        • Greg

          I think the instruction could be boiled down to “you must comply with the code (that is referenced in your contract)”.

          I think we are saying essentially the same thing.

        • joy

          Unless the Castle and Clyne get the sack for bringing the RA into disrepute. Remember by survey Folau has overwhelming support of the Australian public.

        • Hoss

          Yep – straight from the Fair Work Australia website

          ‘Serious misconduct
          Serious misconduct is when an employee:

          causes serious and imminent risk to the health and safety of another person or to the reputation or profits of their employer’s business or
          deliberately behaves in a way that’s inconsistent with continuing their employment.
          Examples of serious misconduct include:

          theft
          fraud
          assault
          being drunk at work
          refusing to carry out work duties’

        • onlinesideline

          I gleaned from this article that the higher up it goes ie at commonwealth level the more chance Izzy has to win. There are precedents and he has a right to believe and “manifest” his beliefs apparantley as an employee

          Legals are mid article

          https://lawandreligionaustralia.blog/2019/04/14/reflections-on-the-israel-folau-affair/

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          The article seems to ignore that the Commonwealth legislation (Fair Work Act) seems to say that state legislation is what counts when it comes to religious discrimination in employment situations.

          I suspect Izzy will be relying on a senior court (maybe even the High Court) interring/finding that such a law exists.

          I think this is unlikely, but certainly possible.

        • Who?

          Quick question – what’s the relevance of UN charters and the like here..? We’re signatories to the ICCPR – it’ll be interesting to see how that might also be applied. :-
          I don’t know – just flagging it.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          It isn’t binding for Australian courts, but I think good barristers for Folau would point this out if it ever went to court, arguing that it would be consistent woth Australia’s international obligations, etc, etc.

          On the other hand, RAs lawyers would argue that Australia’s domestic legislation already operationalises international obligations, and it is the role of the courts to apply Australian law, so all that matters is the relevant jurisdictional and Commonwealth legislation.

          But take what I say with a grain of salt hey. I’m sure a lawyer on here would be able to give an accurate run down for us.

        • Bluey

          This article quotes a counter legal opinion:
          https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/politics/25460-israel-folau-s-sacking-is-about-contract-not-human-rights

          This article sets out the likely legal arguments that each side will employ (written pre Code of Conduct Hearing though):
          https://www.lawinsport.com/topics/articles/item/israel-folau-and-rugby-australia-s-code-of-conduct-hearing-the-likely-legal-arguments

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Yep exactly….. That list pretty much covers Folous actions…. Oh wait that’s the Crusaders team…….

        • Hoss

          ‘Allegedly’

        • joy

          RA did have another course of action Andrew. They could have acknowledged his human right to free speech, reinforced RA’s position and got on with it. Sacking an employee for this is beyond the pale. To RA and Joyce – turn the other cheek.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Well Joyce(Qantus) turns the cheek in all those other countries he deals with…… Countries that lawfully behead gay’s in the streets….

        • GO THE Q REDS

          As far as I’m aware NSW are still beholden to ICCPR human rights to share your beliefs publically! You do not have to keep your beliefs to yourself… Well…we will see…..

        • Yowie

          Fettuccine-eaters will burn in the eternal pizza-oven unless they repent and turn away from flat pasta of all kinds (lasagne sheets excepted if they are rolled and stuffed with filling).

          Disqus and GAGR have repeatedly warned me about posting this sort of thing, but I’m prepared to slug it out with them and walk-away if need be.

        • joy

          Take this to your imaginary Court of Offence:
          People that worship fettuccine will go to Hell.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          So by that logic why isn’t everyone offended? People get offended LITERALY every second on social media! What he posted is a belief that refers to every single human being! Is it now against the law to offend people? Or just gays because they’re a protected minority? If what Folou posted is offensive…… say goodbye to every Rugby player in the world with solid christian beliefs.
          It’s not a regime you know. Players are allowed to have their OWN values, beliefs and principals! Well I suppose we’ll see about that……

      • onlinesideline

        mate dont be moderating Pearcewreck. This issue is going to be around for a long time. Nothing here is being said that hasnt been said before. No-one is offended here and if they are they can always be told to kindly f..k off.
        Leave it to us.
        Oy and dont ban me for saying this.

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        Folau, even if he loose, will be able to state his case in a public forum. This will tick more of his boxes than it will for Rugby Australia for which this will be an ongoing distraction. How long will fans, players, sponsors and broadcasters want to be associated with an organisation with so much infighting?

    • Greg

      It is hard to imagine him playing rugby again if he goes to the courts.

      Say he does challenge in the courts and the matter is resolved in 18 months to 2 years. This makes him 32 I think with no playing time in the previous 2 years. Game over?

      The whole challenge would look more like a means to fund a business (church?) venture.

    • James Pettifer

      But he is by no means the first Australian to be fired for Social Media posts.

      One example – Angela Williamson who was fired by Cricket Australia when it was considered that her position was untenable as she tweeted about discussions with a government official around her views that it was inappropriate that she needed to go interstate to get an abortion. Once she was aware of her employers concern, she apologised for any office and offered to delete the tweets. She was still fired. It was settled out of court.

      Not only was this
      – her first offense
      – she showed contrition and removed the tweet
      – she was not (by any means) the public face of the organisation
      – she was not paid $1 million a year

      • GO THE Q REDS

        Don’t know that case but it sounds like the state she’s in has abortions as illegal. Therefore she would be encouraging something against the law?….. No humans rights have your back in that situation. Folou does have ICCPR human rights with him…..

        • Who?

          From my memory of the case, it’s not illegal to get an abortion in Tasmania, it’s more that there’s nowhere that provides them in the public system.
          .
          The issue was basically that she spoke against the government and CA in a position where she was a liaison between CA and the Tassie government. It wasn’t a breach of law on her part, it was only a breach of contract. However, she still (effectively) won, receiving a payout. There was no freedom of religion/anti-discrimination element to the case.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          You would think if it was a breach of contract it would be relatively straight forward…. you’d think..

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Edit… Oh I see now. She was saying she was fired for expressing her own political view on social media!

        • James Pettifer

          Yep exactly the case. And there was no Alan Jones supporting her because even though he “supports free speech”, he only really supports it when it is consistent with his view point.

          Second example, Scott McIntyre who was a sports reporter at SBS who was sacked for tweeting about ANZAC day. SBS claimed that he refused to delete his tweets. He said they never asked him to or informed him that the breached the code of conduct.

          In this case, Malcolm Turnbull (then communications minister) described them as “despicable remarks which deserved to be condemned”. Similarly no calls from Alan Jones that his right to free speech were being impacted.

          First offense. Fired. Settled out of court.

          Israel is nowhere near the first to be in this situation. Both of the examples above were for first offenses and in both cases they settled.

          The one currently in the high court is Michalea Banerji who was fired from the Department of Immigration in 2013 for tweeting under an pseudonym

        • Who?

          What makes this different and juicy is that this case has a freedom of religion and religious expression/practice element. Freedom of political expression when employed by someone employed by government or employed to liaise with government is much harder to defend than freedom of religious practice by someone employed in a totally different field.
          .
          Those cases are closer to someone going to court saying they should be right to proselytize for Catholicism at work whilst employed in a Muslim school. In that case – where someone is employed to work inside a religious framework – the expectation of shelving one’s personal religious expression is clear.
          And that the prevention of religious expression is an unrealistic demand is upheld by current anti-discrimination laws allowing schools to discriminate in hiring on the basis of faith. For those of faith, it tends to be way more personal than politics, and given how many people looked into moving to NZ after the weekend, politics can go pretty deep!

        • James Pettifer

          I think for me there are 2 separate parts
          – one of the pro Folau arguments is that you have complete control over what you do outside work and that this is the start of the thin wedge of censorship.
          – the second is freedom of religion

          If you are arguing the first point, then you are so many years late as many many people have been fired for doing similar things to Folau once – both in Australia and overseas. Some of them have been prominent in their company. Some not. From an overseas example, Justin Sacco is a very interesting case of mob justice gone mad over a badly worded joke. She was fired for that in 2014. Ironically, she has been rehired (effectively) by the company that fired her in a more senior position.

          If Folau’s team is able to get the second point in to the court then there may be a different discussion. But I don’t think that they will. RA will point to all of the religious posts by Folau and other players and to the prayer circles on the field after matches. If this does become an issue then this does open up a significant can of worms – is everything linked to religion ok? What makes something a religion for the purposes of being ok to quote it?

          The final point is that the Federal government and Banerji are still going through various courts 6 years after the event so this could go on for a long time with very little progress.

        • Who?

          I can see the two separate arguments. I think the first point is weaker. Because there’s clearly times when your work and private life will collide. The cases you’ve cited tend to be more in this category (freedom of speech, separation of employee from employer policies). I believe there should be clear capacity for all to understand that the views of an employee can differ from those of an employer. As is the case in the Folau situation. I don’t think holding separate viewpoints in non-core matters (because hell is far from a core issue for Rugby) should be an issue, provided it’s clearly not portrayed as the view of the organisation. Though I absolutely see that we’re far too dumb to behave with that sort of intelligence in this age of mob mentality and social media.
          .
          That said, I do think there should be some attempt – in law – to give people more freedom there. Freedom to hold differing views when there’s no conflict of interest in those views between the employee and their role. And it’s good to see that there’s examples where people have, in spite of being legally quite arguably wrong, been given some support (such as the Tasmanian CA employee who was sacked for speaking out on abortion accessibility).
          .
          The second point is, I believe, the stronger issue. RA may be able to separate between parts of faith, but many who hold faith cannot. It’s all or nothing. Remove one thread and the whole fabric disintegrates, so it’s all defended heavily. Especially when something is directly quoted or paraphrased from scripture. If you ban one part of a scripture/holy book, then the state is defining faith, which I believe is against freedom of religion (and therefore not legal?).
          .
          This part, I think, is the part that makes it fascinating for lawyers – arguing freedom of religion against freedom from discrimination on the basis of sexuality, and the definition of vilification. If Folau had gone picketing Mardi Gra, then, depending on the language used, it would likely be easier to prove vilification than posting a (paraphrased) Bible verse. Though still hard to argue bullying (because a protester at Mardi Gra isn’t in a position of relative power). If he’d gone insulting people at McDonalds, that’s arguably easier to prove as bullying, and probably not hard to prove as vilification. But 3 posts on social media aimed to his followers (i.e. not the general public – not saying it wasn’t a public post, saying it wasn’t targeted at a specific group – the same way I could say here that League is an evil heresy, and it’s not nearly as aggressive or vilifying as if I were to go a League forum to post the same thing) over a 3 year period including (slightly paraphrased) Bible quotes isn’t – or shouldn’t – be easy to prove as vilification. There’s been much more strongly vilifying posts about Christianity, Folau, Raelene Castle, Michael Cheika, (the incompetent) Cameron Clyne and others on here than what Folau has posted.
          .
          But we’ll see how well it’s all argued in the courts. And I agree, this thing could take years… I’m sure we’ll get flurries of discussion like this every time it goes to court, but hopefully it dies down between court dates. And hopefully it doesn’t take 6 years…

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Well said!

  • Jason

    Can we just hurry up and leave South Africa behind, they are clearly only intersted in their own selfish motives. They’ve shattered any hopes of Australia & New Zealand Rugby growing into the Asian markets by essentially kicking out Japan. They have been unashamedly biased with their refereeing and in ensuring they ALWAYS have the refs they want on their games (we even have all South African crews for games in Australia or New Zealand — yet can’t get a single neutral ref for any games in Africa).

    South Africa is killing Rugby in Australia worst of all they know they are doing it and couldn’t give a stuff! But perhaps worst of all they are deliberately positioning A&NZ so they have no choice but to depend on Africa but also slowly suffocating both.

    • Geoffro

      Haha,would love to repost your comments on a certain SA rugby site and wait for the barrage of indignant replies and personal insults

      • Uncle Tony

        No doubt they’d be fairly unimpressed with a saffa bashing. Not sure how you could argue against a 43-6 penalty count over three games in favour of SA teams over visiting Aus and NZ teams. Doesn’t do much for the integrity of the sport.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Bro it was 2 games….. and most came from 1 of those games at 20-1. It’s laughable!

        • Uncle Tony

          Two of those games were Oz teams (31-3 in favour of SA teams) and the other game was the highlanders v lions last weekend (12-3 in favour of SA team)

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Yep sorry, was ignoring the non Aus games for some reason. Periphial rage maybe….

    • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

      Yeah….. South Africa is providing a significant portion of the funding that keeps NZ and Australia rugby alive. Aus and NZ have only themselves to blame if they believe they are losing out.

  • Singapore Sling

    Seriously…..Folau, the Crusaders?? Has anything good ever come out of social media? Its fertile ground for narcissism, bullying and morons posting photos of plates of food. Shut the whole thing down and bring back post cards…. viva Australia Post!

    • GO THE Q REDS

      Social media will restrict itself out of existence! Soon all that will be allowed will be postcards…. In black and whi…..no just black. White won’t be allowed!

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Dylan,

    Boy what a friggen rock show this is all turning out to be. Now we have some mutton in SA trying to get on the game as well. TBH I couldn’t give a rats arse and I just want it all over and for September to hurry up and arrive.

    Good to see Petaia on the improve and I hope he does get fit enough for the RWC as I think he’s got the ability to add something to the team. It appears Hansen has faith in SBW and to be fair he has proved himself. I still see him more of a bench player than a starter but I’d rather have him in the team than out of it and I just hope he gets fit.

    • Geoffro

      Nonu should be there too going by Hansen’s reasoning,he’s certainly stepped up to the mark with his current form as well

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Yeah maybe. I’m not totally sold that he offers more than Crotty, Laumape or SBW and I can’t see them taking 4 inside centres.

        • Geoffro

          He’s certainly as robust and less injury prone than the guys you mention.Reckon he’d be in serious consideration

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Good point and maybe one to consider. I guess we’ll know soon

        • Who?

          Off the back of what he’s shown in Super Rugby (that he’s still got what he always had, and has added more strings to his bow in terms of game management and experience), combined with the fact he always stepped up when he played for the ABs, and the fact that he’s the best 12 to have played this century, I’d have him very close to first picked in the centres.
          .
          SBW’s injury record is horrendous (he’s always been available less frequently than Ma’a), Crotty’s head knock issues are very significant, but his flexibility to cover 13 is an asset. Laumape’s the future, has shown form, and has added to his game this year.
          .
          If it were me, it’d be Laumape and Ma’a to cover 12. 13, Goodhue’s a shoo-in, but I don’t know whether it’s ALB or Crotty who covers it behind Goodhue…

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Not even close. Crotty and ALB have been miles ahead of all the other NZ centres. Lamaupae is next but he only offers crash ball…… great crash ball but aslong as that’s what you want! I’d guess it’ll be either Nonu or Sbw in as the token experience as neither has been great this year!

    • Singapore Sling

      Nah I don’t want Petaia anywhere near Cheika! It’d be like giving Winx to Hayden Haitana.

      • formerflanker

        In all the dark clouds circling around rugby at the moment, comments like this are a ray of sunshine.

  • Hoss

    Boy – what a night.

    Anticipating further legal action from Mr Folau i took the initiative on the interweb and created a crowd funding page simply called ‘Save Israel’

    Woke up this morning and there’s over $19.65 million dollars in it !!

    The Bradman Foundation are the single biggest contributor so far. Never picked them as strong Rugby followers. They donated $10m and simply said ‘From The Don’ – nice gesture I thought. Many large lump sums from the Yiddish Community, but a rather distasteful message from a middle-eastern gent named Mr Hez Bollah – man did he go off on a tangent.

    Anyhow, nice sized fighting fund in place, less my usual 30% commission, 28% handling fee, 41.50% consultation fees – still enough left over for a good day or two at least.

    • onlinesideline

      brilliant

    • Singapore Sling

      Need a business partner?

      • Hoss

        We can work out the financial stuff later, but the hazing ritual puts a lot of prospective business partners off.

        • onlinesideline

          have to pick up an olive from on top of a large ice block without using your hands, arms, feet or mouth ?

        • Keith Butler

          Reminded me of Animal House “Please sir may I have another”.

    • OnTheBurst

      30% commission, 28% handling fee, 41.50% consultation fees…

      Warney, is that you??!!!?

      • Hoss

        i prefer the term ‘registered charity’ thank you very much.

        Edit – or ‘Foundation’ also sits well.

      • Greg

        no… there was 0.5% left over!

    • Keith Butler

      Any contribution from the Orange One in the US of A?

      • Hoss

        I believed that may be ‘The Don’

        • Custard Taht

          and the The Don is good….makes a bloody good chorizo!

    • Keith Butler

      Hoss mate, you need to take this very important topic more seriously.

  • joy

    Can’t wait to see Raylene Castle sworn in “to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God”. Maybe she’ll chose a different book say The Pirates Of Penzance.

    • Bobas

      ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ a book written by fellow pirate Peter FitzSimons.

      • Huw Tindall

        So good

    • GO THE Q REDS

      I wonder if she’ll see the Irony of the courts founding history and the Bible, almost solely relying on its teachings of honesty!

  • joy

    And herein lies the crux of the problem:

    ““People can have their own beliefs — there’s nothing wrong with that as long it’s not damaging the team or the organisation you work for.”

    Code for think what you like but I’ll tell you what you can talk about.

    Piss off Hansen.

  • theduke

    I’m not sure Petaia needs to go to the world cup. He’s a prodigious talent, but even if he misses this one, he could still have three or four more world cups in him.

    JOC didn’t benefit from getting that much exposure that soon. Give him a break and let him recover well.

    • Bobas

      It’s surely just a feel good story. There’s no way anyone would risk him when his leg muscles have shrunk after being on crutches for a month/s.

      Playing him without muscular conditioning will just mean he’ll do an injury somewhere else. Probably his knee.

      Cheik will probably just tear his calf at camp and that will be the end of it anyway.

  • Greg

    I have finally figured it out…. this is a cunning ploy to divert out attention some some of the minor details in Australian Rugby!!

    For example:-
    – Will we play Pocock at 7?
    – and eve… will Pocock survive training camps – he is clearly not very fit
    – Will we play an 8 at 8?
    – Will we go conservative (status quo) at 10? or give some other options a go?

    – Who will be 15?
    – Who will be coach post the RWC?

    • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

      The last question will evoke an interesting answer. Clyne mentioned that he saved $14 million in 2018 when the Force costed him $4.3 million in 2017. Inflation is a bastard…..

  • Who?

    Because I can see some of Pearcewreck’s comments (including his post around 1:40pm), but can’t reply to them, I’ll reply here…
    .
    Pearcewreck, I reckon you got grumpier with me last year over our discussions about the future of the game than what you’ve been the last few weeks with the current issue……..
    And I whilst it got heated (I didn’t take it personally, hoping you didn’t either), even that extra – and one on one – heat wasn’t abusive. Not from my perspective, anyway.
    .
    Honestly, I think that people constantly calling Ms Castle ‘The Pirate’ and commenting about her appearance is arguably more abusive than what you’ve posted, and given its consistency in locations affiliated with her employment, it’s clearly more harassing and bullying than Folau’s three posts. I wonder, are those who consistently use the term whilst also criticising Ms Castle (which can be read as denigrating her for her appearance and possibly also for her medical conditions – discrimination on the basis of disability) also breaching the Code of Conduct..?

    • onlinesideline

      Hoss, any thoughts ? – bhahaha

    • Bobas

      And Michael Cheika being called a clown is also denigrating him for his obvious learning disability.

      • Who?

        Maybe not for the learning disability (because I can’t diagnose that sort of thing, and even if one could, it’d be a good effort to diagnose that from afar). But I could see it being considered bullying or harassment. Though Cheika would be more likely to use it for his siege mentality than for litigation. But it could equally be a Code of Conduct breach..?
        .
        I’m not saying that any of us should be sanctioned (or moderated), just being aware of the standards players are held to, and the realities of bullying and denigration. Because we all post things that are questionable more regularly than Folau’s three posts. I’d hate to see anyone done for defamation.
        .
        And by posting as a singular post, rather than a reply (especially a reply to someone who used either term), I’m hoping not to single out anyone. I haven’t used either term, but that doesn’t mean I’ve never said things others might think is inappropriate (such as labelling certain referees as being anencephalous).

        • Singapore Sling

          If you are a player, coach or administrator at any level you’re are subject to the CoC however since you’re are not representing RA in any way by posting anonymously on a forum the CoC would not apply.

          I agree labeling Castle the Pirate, the Vicar of Dibly or Aunty Fester is bullying and I touched on the issue of social media in my post above. I am still curious though if she stuck a light bulb in her mouth would it illuminate.

        • Who?

          The fact that many of us use pseudonyms would help, because we’re not able to be identified with clubs or RA, therefore we’re not representing them. Good point.
          But if we turned up to a game with a banner in a Wallabies jersey, it might be another story..?
          .
          Your second paragraph is incredibly Australian… Honest, fair, then bitingly irreverent and politically incorrect all at once! :-D

    • Custard Taht

      The only issue I have with what you have written is; Incompetence isn’t a disability.

      On the issue of the CoC though, when I read it, there is a section that covers fans as well. It is pretty much exactly the same as the players, coaches and the pogues. So, what you say is actually quite correct, and in theory those doing so, are indeed in breach of the CoC.

      • Who?

        I didn’t mean incompetence as a disability, I meant the medical condition that it’s been mentioned she has which is the reason she often wears bandanas. :-)
        .
        Many of us are likely also held by our local club codes of conduct.
        .
        Will we be sacked from being fans of the game?!?! All my comments about Deans’ incompetence from 2009-2013… Oh dear, I’m in trouble!

        • Custard Taht

          Hahaha, hearing you on that! But probably more so about Cheika!

  • onlinesideline

    my personal tip / prediction on this matter ladies and gentlemen:
    In the not too distant future we will see a PI test the waters with a similar comment to izzys.
    I think the simmering anger amongst the PIs will resurface.

    • Patrick

      Post RWC a Vunipola will definitely have a crack

  • Keith Butler

    I wonder if the Izzy Saga will run as long as The Mousetrap.

    • Damo

      Yes it’s an Agatha Christie “hedunnit”.

  • Bernie Chan

    The great George Smith has announced he will retire from rugby…what a stellar career. Probably the best all-round skill set I’ve ever seen, and George was still ‘schooling’ opensides into his late thirties.
    Hope Petaia is left out of RWC consideration…a boom talent, but he should not be rushed back into playing as he has years ahead and likely a few RWCs too.
    Really hope the social media intrigue about the Crusaders is much ado about nothing, and is found to be more about a couple of attention seeking people creating mischief to suit their own agenda.

    • Bernie Chan

      Bloody hell…more intrigue coming out from the Crusaders tour to Sth Africa. This time names have been mentioned…

  • Don’t have a cow. Disqus decided you were a bad guy for some reason. Let me know if you have anymore problems.

  • Disqus decided you were evil. Should be okay now.

    • Who?

      Watch out, Sully – now there’ll be conspiracy theories that Disqus is a mad leftie! :-P
      .
      That said, I wonder what its parameters were? Maybe Pearcewreck was a naughty boy on another Disqus board..?

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    But an employer is allowed to terminate your contract for what you do in your private life. Decades of court decisions in Australia proves this.

  • James Pettifer

    Hi Pearcewreck,
    One example – Angela Williamson who was fired by Cricket Australia when it was considered that her position was untenable as she tweeted about discussions with a government official around her views that it was inappropriate that she needed to go interstate to get an abortion. Once she was aware of her employers concern, she apologised for any office and offered to delete the tweets. She was still fired. It was settled out of court.

    Not only was this
    – her first offense
    – she showed contrition and removed the tweet
    – she was not (by any means) the public face of the organisation
    – she was not paid $1 million a year

    • Who?

      It was, however, directly related to her work. In that, she was a government liaison for CA, but she went online and complained about that government with whom she was to represent CA.
      Her primary role was to liaise with government, and she criticised that government. That’s like being a football player who turns up drunk and overweight on game day. Way more relevant to daily employment functions than Folau’s CoC infringements.
      .
      It was ‘only’ freedom of speech and freedom of political expression that was impeded by her contract, but given her role was to liaise with government, that’s pretty reasonable. It’s much more closely related than Folau’s posts (where hell and sins aren’t really related to rugby).
      And she still (effectively) won (settling out of court).
      So nothing’s settled until the court’s finished with it all (assuming that Folau does go through with it).

  • GO THE Q REDS

    Mate I was banned from the official Gagr ‘forums’ last year for literally inciting arguments apparently. I was NEVER personal or offensive but often received extreme abuse…. including towards my family! My cited posts were all factual Bernard Foley assessments from his games. All of Foley’s game involvements good or bad (each and every game) followed by a summary and my opinion. A basic sumary of those opinions……why was Foley constantly held with such high regard?, despite never earning it, and where was RAs or Aus clubs growth in the 10 position? An opinion I now feel very justified in worrying about considering record breaking lows in Wallaby history! I still have every post as at the time I was told legal action may be my best bet! (oh by the way, the threatening and extremely offensive posts and contributors were never shut down!)
    If your opinion truly is being shut down then it’s a disgrace!

Rugby
@DylanGLanges

Once captained the 3rds Rugby team, but then again so did Nick Farr-Jones

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