Sydney – Israel Folau has called for a code of conduct hearing to challenge Rugby Australia's decision to fire him for anti-gay comments, officials said on Wednesday.
Wallabies defender, 30, who was issued a code of conduct violated by the organization on Monday, caused a stir last week by posting to his Instagram account that "hell is waiting" homosexuals.
"Israel formally responded today to request a Code of Conduct hearing that, under the circumstances, was not an unexpected result," Raelene Castle, head of Rugby Australia, said in a statement.
With the hearing likely to be delayed by two imminent public holidays, Folau's decision placed the body in a time-consuming and difficult situation just five months before the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Rugby Australia made it clear that their presence in the sport is no longer sustainable, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has stated that he will not select Folau again and that national team sponsor Qantas has also condemned the player's social media position.
But the independent court of three people may choose not to consider Folau guilty of a breach of the code of conduct, or issue him a suspension, instead may make him return to play.
That would have forced Rugby Australia to decide whether to tear up their lucrative four-year, $ 4 million ($ 2.9 million) four-year contract that was signed in February.
On Sunday, Super Rugby's top scorer Folau told the Sydney Morning Herald he was ready for rugby-free life, saying, "I live for God now."
"Whatever His will, whether to continue playing or not, I'm more than happy to do what He wants me to do," said Folau.