Wallabies superstar Israel Folau has indicated he will fight a breach notice that could end his rugby career, just days after doubling down on his controversial anti-LGBTI comments.

After meeting with officials last week, Folau was given until 2pm today to either accept termination of his contract or respond to the breach notice over his inflammatory use of social media, and he has asked for the matter to be referred to a code of conduct tribunal, The Australian reported.

“Israel has responded formally today to request a code of conduct hearing which, under the circumstances, was not an unexpected outcome,” said Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle.

“We will now work to confirm a date for the hearing as soon as possible.

“After the date for the hearing is confirmed Rugby Australia and the New South Wales Rugby Union will make no further comment on the matter until the code of conduct process has concluded.”

Folau, a devout Christian, has been in hot water since last year when he began posting anti-LGBTI messages on social media, notably telling gay people that they were destined for hell.

Rugby Australia has previously stated that the fullback is entitled to his religious beliefs, but that using social media to comment in a discriminatory way is against the organisation’s values and Folau’s contract.

Various commenters have spoken out against Folau’s messages, from Rugby Australia sponsor Qantas to a member of the Tongan royal family.

Rugby Australia may be forced to reach a settlement with Folau, potentially involving payout of part or all of his contract, depending on the outcome of the hearing.

The hearing is likely to be held next week.

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