Israel Folau fights 'unlawful termination' of Australia rugby contract

    Israel Folau was expected to represent Australia at this year's World Cup.

    (CNN)Israel Folau has launched legal proceedings against Rugby Australia after his playing contract was terminated last month following his homophobic comments on social media.

    The full back, capped 73 times by Australia, was found guilty of a code of conduct breach and stripped of his contract for an Instagram post that said "hell awaits" gay people.
    Folau's lawyers, citing section 772 of the Fair Work Act, said it is "unlawful to terminate employment on the basis of religion" and are reportedly seeking AUS$10 million ($7M) in damages.
    In a statement from Folau's legal representatives, the player said: "I will forever be grateful and proud to have played the sport I love for our nation.
    "Ours is an amazing country built on important principles, including freedom of religion.
    "A nation made up of so many different faiths and cultural backgrounds will never be truly rich unless this freedom applies to all of us.
    "The messages of support we have received over these difficult few weeks have made me realize there are many Australians who feel their fundamental rights are being steadily eroded.
    "No Australian of any faith should be fired for practicing their religion."
    Folau leaves a code of conduct hearing in Sydney.