Israel Folau: Rival team threatens court over Bible social media post

A rugby league team says it will consider suing a rival club over the signing of a player who put a Bible-based post on Instagram.

Israel Folau called on people to repent of their sins in a post which quoted from Galatians.

He was sacked by Rugby Australia, but later reached a settlement and received an apology.

‘Reputational damage’

Last month French team Catalans Dragons – who play in the English Super League – signed Folau.

Now, rival team Hull KR has contacted the Dragons warning of legal action if it suffers “financial loss”.

“For example, if title sponsor withdraws, or external investment is not secured, or quantifiable reputational damage is caused to the brand of Super League and its members”, it said.

Hull KR’s owner wrote: “I reserve my position to take proceedings v Catalans Dragons.”


BBC sports editor Dan Roan said he had been told that “nearly all” the twelve Super League clubs have now backed the stance.

The hostile moves are in marked contrast to the relatively silent response to a player found guilty of drink-driving and using illegal drugs.

In 2018, Wigan full-back Zak Hardaker was found to be more than two-times over the drink-drive limit.

In 2017, he and two other Super League players tested positive for cocaine.


The Folau row centres on a post from April last year which quoted Galatians 5:19-21.

Alongside the Bible reference, Folau’s post mentioned “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers” and “liars” and said: “hell awaits you”, “repent!”, “only Jesus saves”.

Rugby Australia (RA) terminated his playing contract over the ‘high-level breach’ of its code of conduct.


But in December, RA and Folau reached a settlement.

It acknowledged Folau had posted “genuinely held religious beliefs” and had not intended to hurt or offend people.

RA also apologised for “any hurt or harm caused to the Folaus”.

The parties settled for a confidential payment. The former rugby union star had been suing Rugby Australia for A$14m (£7.4m).

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