Israel Folau

Folau's amateur rugby league hopes hit contract hurdle

The dual code international is looking to play with his two brothers at Southport Tigers in the Gold Coast amateur competition, two years after he was sacked by Rugby Australia for social media posts deemed discriminatory by rugby union's governing body.

The Queensland Rugby League (QRL) said it could not register Folau because he had not provided confirmation of his release from a contract with his previous team.

Folau played a season for French side Catalan Dragons before quitting the Super League club last year and returning to Australia with his family.

Ex-Wallabies star Israel Folau set for two more legal battles upon return to Australian rugby league

Palmer’s Mineralogy company is bankrolling Folau’s proposed bid to play rugby league for the Southport Tigers in Gold Coast’s A-Grade competition this year.

The 32-year-old the dual international, who had his contract terminated by Rugby Australia (RA) in 2019 after saying “hell awaits” gay people in a social media post, is hoping to play for the Tigers alongside brothers John and Eni in the third-tier competition.

Palmer has indicated he wants Folau to be on the field for Southport’s clash against Burleigh Bears at Pizzey Park this Saturday.

‘It was a big shock’: Fresh twist as Folau’s comeback bid threatens to turn ‘nasty’

It is Folau’s latest bid to end a sporting exile sparked by his homophobic social media posts.

The former rugby union international told a press conference he planned to start playing next week for the Tigers, a club who controversial mining billionaire Clive Palmer is a patron of.

But his registration as a player has yet to be approved by the Queensland Rugby League.

And now Catalans football manager Alex Chan has responded, declaring Folau’s latest move was a “big shock”.

Lobby ramp up effort to get Israel Folau back playing

The Australian Christian Lobby took out the ad this week in The Daily Telegraph in an effort to heap pressure on the NRL, who said no to a return to their league after he left Australian rugby union under a cloud after his explosive sacking and a subsequent court case over a number of disputed social media posts.

On their petition page, the Australian Christian Lobby write: “Israel Folau is a much-loved Australian champion who has been banned from the NRL for once sharing a post on social media that they didn’t like.

Israel Folau eyeing Rugby World Cup stint for Tonga - coach

Folau, 32, hasn't kicked a ball in the 15-man code since 2019, when he was sacked by Rugby Australia for a series of homophobic outbursts on social media, breaching his contract with the union.

After legal proceedings and a reported settlement of AU$8m, Folau moved to Europe, where he played one season in the UK Super League for French side Catalans Dragons.

But now back residing in Brisbane - and a free agent - Folau has already had an attempt to return to the NRL knocked back, but has been contacted Kefu about returning to test rugby.

NRL knocks back Israel Folau's request for face-to-face meeting on potential return

Folau is keen to return to rugby league in Australia despite St George Illawarra’s decision to abandon their plans to recruit him. The Dragons were concerned by a backlash from fans and sponsors, as well as a belief his chances of being registered by the governing body were slim.

The setback hasn’t dissuaded the cross-code star from attempting to return to the game in which he made his name. Folau’s representatives reached out to NRL officials to request a meeting, but were told there was nothing to discuss until a team made an application to register him.

Former Kiwis centre Dean Whare leaves NRL for Super League side Catalans Dragons

Whare is leaving after eight years at the Panthers and almost 10 years in the NRL to link up with his former Penrith teammate James Maloney in Perpignan.

Catalans are reportedly “resigned to losing Israel Folau’’, who has returned to Australia to be near wife Maria’s ill mother, according to a report in England's League Express newspaper.

Whare, who has played 130 games for the Panthers, was contracted for 2021, but has opted to join Catalans on a two-year deal at short notice.

Israel Folau bombarded with 'gay pornography' after joining team Whats App group

A devout Christian, Folau and Rugby Australia parted company after a lengthy legal row over alleged homophobic social media posts that ultimately ended in the union coughing up a mullti-million dollar payout for the star. He ended up back in league with Super League’s Catalan Dragons, where at least one teammate was eager to prank him over his views.

Folau set to return to NRL - report

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting St George Illawarra have applied to the NRL to sign Israel Folau on a two-year deal.

ARLC chairman Peter V'landys has previously indicated the door was all but shut on Folau to return to the sport after the controversy surrounding his religious beliefs during his time in rugby union.

However the NRL has recently indicated to the Dragons that it will consider the application and will not make a decision until they have reviewed the proposal and spoken to the relevant parties said the Herald.

Israel Folau linked with return to rugby union

Folau, a Mormon, split with Australian Rugby in 2019 after he repeatedly posted what were perceived as homophobic religious memes to social media platforms. He was fired and then took Rugby Australia to court and won a multi-million dollar pay out.

Now French rugby publication Midi Olympique are reporting that the former Wallaby superstar, who was rumoured to have declined an approach by Montpellier Herault last year, is coming to the end of his Catalan Dragons contract, sparking fresh interest in French rugby union circles.