The real cost of the Israel Folau saga has been revealed by leaked Rugby Australia financial figures for 2019.

The figures, which were obtained by News Corp but were still to be signed off by auditors, show a A$4 million rise in "player costs and RUPA (Rugby Union Players Association)" and a A$3.8 million increase in "corporate costs".

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Folau settlement – estimated to be around $4 million – is included in the player costs, with half paid by NSW Rugby. Cost of the payout is also included in the $20 million Rugby Australia owes to creditors.

The other reasons for the spike in player costs include payments for the first year of Wallabies captain Michael Hooper's contract and a deal to bring halfback Nic White back to Australia in the middle of 2020 after his stint in England.


The Folau saga also caused an increase in corporate costs from legal fees and the hiring of PR firm Bastion Reputation Management.

The sacked Wallaby initially demanded $14 million in compensation when he took legal action against RA before a settlement was reached in December.

Israel Folau. Photo / Photosport
Israel Folau. Photo / Photosport

Former RA boss Raelene Castle said at the time reports of an $8 million settlement were inaccurate and that the figures were confidential.

The financial figures as a whole reportedly showed an $8 million loss in revenue because of the World Cup, as well as an increase of $5 in expenditure.

Meanwhile, RA confirmed that it is expecting to resume a domestic Super Rugby competition in early July, which could include both the Western Force and the Sunwolves as well as Australia's four Super franchises.

"The draw we are looking at is a 12-week competition, 10 weeks of regular round matches and depending on the number of teams, work out how many games per week there," RA general manager of professional rugby services Ben Whitaker said.

"The Sunwolves, at the moment would be located in either New South Wales or Queensland.

"The international travel restrictions in South Africa and Argentina have been strengthened in the last couple of weeks and you will see that both of those nations at least won't have any restrictions lifted until September."