Folau and Rugby Australia fail to reach settlement

Folau wants Rugby Australia to make an 'apology'

Israel Folau's spat with Rugby Australia plumbs new depths ahead of Fair Work hearing

Rugby Australia has accused sacked Wallabies and Waratahs star Israel Folau of lying during a television interview with Alan Jones on Sky News on Thursday night.

The Fair Work Commission's conciliation hearing offers a last chance for employers and employees to settle a dispute before taking proceedings further.

But Folau and his camp emerged some four hours later with no settlement.

Folau said the words in the post "came from a place of love".

After the hearing, he told reporters: "Look, very disappointed about the outcome today but I'd like to thank all those who have supported me throughout this time. I'll continue to stand up for the freedoms of all Australians".

The case is now expected to head to the Federal Court and could potentially drag on for years.

"It appears as though, unless things change that we will be heading to court", Folau's solicitor George Haros told reporters.

"Hopefully Rugby Australia will accept that my termination was unlawful and we can reach an agreement about how they can fix that mistake", Folau said in the video.

Folau and his legal team met with Rugby Australia in the first formal step of his unfair dismissal case but no agreement was reached after almost four hours.

Dubbing itself "Australia's longest-running publication for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities", the mag had Folau and fellow Wallaby Adam Ashley-Cooper on the cover in 2014 promoting the Bingham Cup - a non-professional, gay tournament.

Hopes of a resolution were slim with the two sides trading barbs beforehand.

Folau claimed on Thursday RA had offered him money to remove the post at the centre of the dispute and he had declined because sharing the Bible was one of his duties as a Christian.

The governing body issued statement calling the allegation "completely false".

"First and foremost, I am hoping for an apology from Rugby Australia and an acknowledgement that even if they disagree with my views, that I should be free to peacefully express my religious beliefs without fear of retribution or exclusion", the 30-year-old said.

However, Rugby Australia insist his sacking was purely contractual, saying Folau had agreed not to disparage anyone over their sexuality following a similar controversy a year ago.

"This is an employment matter and does not concern his religious beliefs or his ability to express them freely", she said.

Mr Jones said there were footballers who had committed violent acts and been involved in domestic violence incidents but Folau had "quoted the world's most read book and was banned for life". "We're working very hard on that right now", he said.

Latest News