Rugby Australia CEO, Raelene Castle, has rejected media reports that the confidential settlement between Rugby Australia and Israel Folau was for $8 million.
While not willing to reveal the payout amount, Castle said the decision to settle with Folau was a commercial decision to give Rugby Australia “cost certainty” and the sum was less than what it would cost to continue with the court proceedings.
“What I can say is, in these types of disputes, what you do try and find a situation that gives Rugby Australia, some certainty,” Castle said.
“This settlement gives us that and also ensured that we were in a situation where the cost was less than seeing a trial through to the end of February.
“The whole point of a confidential settlement document is that you don’t talk about the numbers and you don’t speculate on them, and you draw a line in the sand, and you move on.
“Unfortunately, because of what has happened this morning, we are here,” she said,
When asked why Rugby Australia had, as reported, “backed down” to reach the confidential payout with Folau, Castle said the rugby community simply wanted the matter settled and to move on.
“We didn’t back down,” Castle said.
“We needed to give the game cost certainty.
“The feedback we were getting from our rugby community is they wanted this matter settled.
“They want to go into the new year knowing they can go in with a clean slate and start talking about rugby again, instead of talking about this case.
“These are ultimately commercial decisions.
“We had to make a decision that is right for rugby in this country.
“We made the right decision in calling out Israel on his posts, and on his inappropriate messaging,” she said, discussing Rugby Australia’s initial decision to sack the former rugby star over controversial religious posting on social media.
Castle also confirmed the settlement would be covered by an insurance policy that Rugby Australia has in place, without the need to take money out of community rugby funding.