Intrigue and legal strategy on eve of Israel Folau's court case with Rugby Australia

Rugby Australia is seeking to have their unlawful termination fight with Israel Folau moved to the Federal Court or interstate to Sydney.

On the same day that the former Wallaby's Instagram and Twitter pagesdisappeared for up to four hours, Folau's former employer filed an application in the Federal Circuit Court to have the high profile case moved.

The organisation was not immediately available for comment, but the development could be interpreted as a legal strategy to slow proceedings.

As the "little sister" to the Federal Court, the Federal Circuit Court has a track record of moving cases through quicker than its federally-based siblings and at a lower cost.

The filings, lodged late on Monday, sought a move to the Federal Circuit Court's Sydney base as an alternative.

While RA's offices are in Sydney, the move could also be designed to ensure there is no embarrassing or distracting crossover with Australia's looming Rugby World Cup campaign.

The development came after an intriguing few hours on Monday when Folau's entire Instagram account was deleted and his posts on Twitter disappeared.

Neither Twitter nor Instagram would comment on the matter, and Folau's spokespeople would not confirm whether the decorated dual international had been the victim of a cyber attack.

But the episode had all parties at a loss for another explanation, given his legal team has flagged that they will use the content of his social media accounts as a pillar in their argument that RA unlawfully sacked Folau because of his religion.

It all came on the eve of a directions hearing into his unlawful sacking claim was due to start in the Federal Circuit Court in Melbourne.

Instagram was the platform on which Folau, a deeply conservative Pentacostal Christian, published much of his religious messaging, including the April 10 post for which he was sacked. That post paraphrased a Bible verse and warned that gay people, among others, would go to Hell.

Legal representatives for Folau, Rugby Australia and the NSW Waratahs will appear before Chief Judge Will Alstergren at 10.30am on Tuesday.

The hearing will consider RA's application to have the case moved, but could also see the parties ordered back to mediation.

Folau is seeking up to A$10 million (NZ$10.5 million) in damages from his two former employers, based on the value of his four-year contract that was torn up one year in, plus lost earnings and opportunities that could have come about were he not sacked.

Folau was not expected to appear on Tuesday.