ISRAEL FOLAU has vowed to spend years in a legal battle with Rugby Australia after raising almost £330,000 to fight his sacking over homophobic posts.
The 73-cap wing and devout Christian was axed last month for an online rant claiming “hell awaits drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators“.
The 30-year-old insists his sacking was “unlawful” and called on supporters to help him seek £5.5m in damages.
The disgraced Wallabies player has now taken to Instagram once again after launching a GoFundMe page appealing for donations.
He said: “Sadly, Rugby Australia have said that they will devote significant resources to fight me in court.
“This shows I have a long and hard battle on my hands, which is why I am asking for your support. The money that is donated will be used to fund my legal battle, which could take years.”
The money that is donated will be used to fund my legal battle, which could take years
Israel Folau defends appealing for funds
Folau has been slammed by many fans and players for using the crowdfunding page but his wife Maria gave her husband her first public show of support.
The 32-year-old, a netball star for the Adelaide Thunderbirds, shared a post from the Australian on Instagram calling for people to support his legal fight.
The couple have been married since November 2017, but Maria had chosen to stay silent over the homophobic comments until now.
Folau, whose international deal was due to run until 2022, was set to be a key man for the Aussies at the World Cup in Japan this autumn.
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He has now been stripped of sponsorship deals with Land Rover and sportswear brand Asics.
The former rugby league and AFL star is claimed to be seeking £5.5m in damages against Rugby Australia.
The appeal, which was launched earlier today, has so far raised just A$993 (£541) of his A$3m target (£1.65m).