Israel Folau

Israel Folau will miss the Rugby World Cup

Head coach Toutai Kefu has named a 32-player squad, with two further players to be added before the tournament.

Tonga have confirmed that the controversial fullback has failed to recover from a knee injury and will miss the tournament alongside Telusa Veainu.

“Isileli Folau (knee) and Telusa Veainu (hamstring) have suffered recurrences of existing injuries and will be unavailable for the tournament,” the union said in a statement.

Piutau, Fekitoa to start and Folau not named for Flying Fijians clash

Former All Blacks reps Charles Salesi Piutau and Malakai Fekitoa are in the starting line-up.

Axed Wallaby Israel Folau who featured prominently in the match against Australia A last week has not been included in the match-day 23.

Tonga has named only one debutant for this match with Patrick Pellegrini set to earn his first cap off the bench.

Ikale Tahi is riding high with confidence after it’s jaw-dropping performance against Australia A and will be looking to mirror this against the Flying Fijians.

'You can’t be punished for the rest of your life': Hansen on Folau future

Folau scored a try but was booed throughout Sunday’s 48-42 loss to the Barbarians by a group of around 100 banner-waving LGBTQ+ protesters, while the Rugby Football Union raised the pride flag on the roof of Twickenham.

The devout Christian was sacked by RA in 2019 for publishing a series of discriminatory posts on social media, including one telling “homosexuals” that “hell awaits you”.

He has switched national allegiance to Tonga ahead of this autumn’s World Cup and Hansen, who was wearing a pride wristband, said a line should be drawn under the episode.

Steve Hansen selects Israel Folau for World XV

Folau, 34, was sacked by Rugby Australia in 2019 for a "high-level" breach of their code of conduct.

He has since switched international allegiance to Tonga and is in line to play at this year's Rugby World Cup.

BBC reports the World XV meet the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday May 28.

Once one of the world's best full-backs, the dual-code international was embroiled in a lengthy dispute with his former employees after a series of anti-gay social media posts in 2018 and 2019.

Israel Folau shines in latest Japan League One action while Ngani Laumape kept in check

In the biggest clash of the weekend between two of the heavyweight clubs, Tokyo Sungoliath and Kobelco Kobe Steelers, the Sungoliath came out on top with a dominant win 39-19.

Former All Black Ngani Laumape, who has been in blistering form in his first season in Japan, was kept largely in check by the Sungoliath defence.

Kobelco managed four penalties to narrow Sungoliath’s lead to 17-12 but a yellow card to former Blues lock Gerard Cowley Tuioti gave the Tokyo club a one-man advantage which they used to score from a trick lineout play.

Folau scores hat-trick of tries in Japan

In his second season in Japan, 73-Test veteran Folau bagged his three tries in the space of 11 minutes before being substituted midway through the second half.

His Urasayu D-Rocks team continued their unbeaten season start in second division with a 68-17 thrashing of Shimizu Kotu Blue Sharks.

A successor to Folau as Wallabies fullback, Tom Banks scored his first try in Japanese club rugby as his MIE Honda demolished Kamaishi Seawaves 75-15 in another second division match.

Israel Folau scores less than sixty seconds into new Japan League One season

Folau’s team renamed Urayasu D-Rocks, formerly known as NTT Communication Shining Arcs, kicked off their new season in Division II against the Mie Honda Heat, who featured Pumas star Pablo Matera.

From the first lineout play of the game, the D-Rocks used a deliberate overthrow to No 12 Tukwuka Tone to crash the ball up before playing wide on the next phase.

Former Blues playmaker Otere Black linked with Folau, putting the fullback into a half-gap which was more than enough for the dynamic runner.

Israel Folau suffers leg injury on Test return in Pacific Nations Cup

The 33-year-old, a fundamentalist Christian, won 73 caps for Australia but had his contract terminated in 2019 after posting a homophobic tweet.

A change in World Rugby's rules last year allowed him to switch allegiance to Tonga.

Folau injured his leg in a collision when chasing a kick and limped off in the 27th minute against Fiji.

He was listed as 'Isileli Folau' by Tonga and named on the right wing for the match in Suva.

Wallaby superstar Folau to make Tonga debut

Flying wing Folau played 73 Tests for Australia before being sacked in 2019 for posting homophobic messages on his social media account.

He will line up alongside former All Blacks Charles Piutau and Malakai Fekitoa.

Two others switching are scrum-half Augustine Pulu and Fiji centre Seta Tamanivalu, who both played a handful of Tests for the All Blacks.

They have all taken advantage of new eligibility rules which allow players to represent a country where they have a birthright, providing they haven't played Test rugby for three years.

Tonga to apply social media restrictions on Israel Folau

Folau, an evangelical Christian, will soon make his return to international rugby, three years on from the termination of his Wallabies contract after he posted a meme on social media that said “hell” awaits homosexual people and other groups.

Former World Cup winner and Wallabies great Kefu said he had yet to discuss social media with Folau but trusted the 33-year-old would not cause problems for his team in the meantime.

“That’s probably the elephant in the room,” the Tonga coach told Reuters.