Israel Folau has reached a settlement with Rugby Australia (RA) after he was controversially sacked over posts on social media.
Folau took legal action against his sport’s governing body after his playing contract was terminated over a social media post quoting the Bible.
RA claimed the Instagram post – which said hell awaits “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars” and others, and called them to repent – was a ‘high-level breach’ of its code of conduct.
A joint statement said that 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 (£7.4).
Religious liberty group the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) said that this was a “welcome result” for all those who “value freedom”.
Managing Director Martyn Iles said: “People of all faiths need clear protections to speak openly about their beliefs.”
“The true meaning of inclusiveness, diversity, and tolerance is to accept differences, including differences of faith and belief”.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pledged to introduce new laws on religious liberty.
Morrison said: “Religious freedom is one of the cornerstones of what we are as a country, and it’s important our laws reflect that”.