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  1. ITV Report

New Israel Folau fundraising page eclipses GoFundMe total in just 24 hours

A second fundraiser for Israel Folau has eclipsed the first within 24 hours. Credit: AP

Israel Folau's second fundraising drive for legal costs has already received more donations in 24 hours than his previous campaign managed to raise before its closure on Monday.

The rugby star was sacked by Rugby Australia in May for posting anti-gay messages on social media.

Folau launched the initial fundraising drive last week, asking for $3million Australian dollars (£1.6m) to help towards the costs of his legal action against Rugby Australia.

Folau is a Christian who argues his contract termination was an unlawful act of religious discrimination.

Crowdfunding website GoFundMe shut down his first campaign, which had received more than $750,000 (£409,000), on Monday claiming it violated its terms of service.

But a second fundraising website, set up by the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), had generated more than $760,000 (£414,000) in donations on Tuesday.

Israel Folau argues the termination of his rugby contract is illegal. Credit: PA

ACL managing director Martyn Iles told radio station Sydney Live: "We are ensuring that the voice of quiet Australians continues to be heard, and Israel Folau continues to know that he is not alone."

The amount raised includes a $100,000 donation by the ACL itself, which is among the vocal supporters of Folau.

Folau set up the initial fundraising page after his $4million (£2.2m) contract was terminated following his posts on social media that all homosexuals would go to hell.

An independent panel upheld that decision and Folau announced he was taking the case to the Fair Work Commission.

The 30-year-old was accused of greed following the launch of the fundraising drive, with ex-Australia wing Drew Mitchell heavily critical and referencing the many seriously ill people using GoFundMe to foot medical bills.

Folau would have proved one of Australia's top draws at the autumn's World Cup in Japan, but his 73-Test Wallabies career is in tatters.