'We didn't get it wrong': Castle defends Folau settlement

The Sydney Morning Herald Sports 1 week ago

Raelene Castle says she will not step down as Rugby Australia boss and defended the organisation's decision to settle with sacked Wallaby Israel Folau.

Castle has been subjected to a number of calls for her head after almost two years at the helm of the game, and saw those intensify in the wash-up to the organisation's seven-figure settlement with Folau.

On Thursday she defended the organisation's course of action, from terminating Folau to reaching a settlement with the 74-Test dual international.

Raelene Castle has spoken following the Folau settlement.

''No we didn’t get it wrong. At the end of the day we stood up for the values of Rugby Australia," Castle said.

"The person that chose to breach the code of conduct was found guilty and his contract was ultimately terminated because of that. That stands up and continues to say ‘this is an inclusive sport’.

"Behaviour and commentary of this type is not acceptable in our sport and everybody in rugby needs to be included, regardless of what their background is."

Castle refuted media reports that put the organisation's payout anywhere between "several" and $8 million,  confirming that RA had taken out some form of limited liability insurance and said the confidential figure was something the game could live with.

"That's the good thing about the settlement, it's put us in a place where we do have certainty and there won't be any money taken out of community rugby and we won't have to make any changes to the budget situation," she said.

Folau said on Wednesday he felt "vindicated" by the agreement, which included both parties apologising to each other for hurt caused during the eight-month legal battle.

"If you look at the statement that was drafted yesterday, and there was a lot of work went into that statement by both parties, there was an apology both ways," Castle said.

"That apology was both ways because this has been very stressful, it’s been a very hard time for the Folaus and it’s a very hard time for Rugby Australia.

"At the end of the day it was about that difficult time that Rugby Australia apologised for, but we stand by our decision that we have been through."

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