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Israel Folau approaches top Melbourne lawyer who specialises in free speech and unlawful job termination - report

Former Wallabies star Israel Folau has reportedly approached one of Australia's leading workplace relations lawyers for advice as he weighs up taking Rugby Australia to court over his recent sacking.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports Folau has spoken with Melbourne silk Stuart Wood QC about his situation after he was recommended by those close to the fullback.

Wood is described by the SMH as a a "crusader in unlawful termination cases where free speech is called into question".

Folau had his contract terminated last week after posting on social media that homosexuals among other groups of people have hell awaiting them unless they repent to Jesus Christ.

The post was deemed a high breach of the Rugby Australia code of conduct and eventually led to Folau's dismissal.

Folau's story, while groundbreaking for Rugby Australia, isn't a new experience for Wood who most recently successfully represented a controversial marine scientist and climate-sceptic in his battle with a Queensland university.

Peter Ridd was terminated by James Cook University after he described a colleague for giving "the normal doom science about the Great Barrier Reef".

He also said the coral researcher didn't have "any clue about the weather".

However, Federal Circuit Court judge Sal Vasta ruled in Ridd and favour, stating his contract with the university protected his comments over and above the university's code of conduct.

While Folau has decided not to engage in Rugby Australia's appeal process, the Sydney Morning Herald reports the 30-year-old is looking to be represented by Wood either in Supreme Court or with the Fair Work Commission.

Folau said on Monday he still has a lot of rugby left in him and he's keeping his legal options open.

"My decision not to commence Rugby Australia's appeal process is in no way an acceptance of the judicial panel's findings," said Folau in a statement.

"I simply do not have confidence in Rugby Australia's ability to treat me fairly or lawfully throughout this process.

"The messages of support from fans, players, former rugby administrators and the public have been humbling."

Bernard Foley and Israel Folau.
 Blues v Waratahs, Super Rugby. Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand. Saturday 6 April 2019 © Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz
Waratahs star backs Bernard Foley and Israel Folau. Source: Photosport