Folau set to return to NRL - report

Dual international Israel Folau could be set to return to the NRL.

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.

The Dragons board has approved the approach, while the club has also informed its major sponsors of its intention to sign Folau.

St George Illawarra chief executive Ryan Webb confirmed the club was in the process of luring the former Queensland and Australian representative to the Dragons.

"We are always on the lookout for great players," Webb told the Herald.

"We have enquired with the NRL about Israel and we will work with them to hopefully see him join us in 2021.

"We understand there will be a range of opinions in regards to this decision, but we believe he would be a good addition to our club."

When V'landys became ARLC chair the prospect of Folau returning to the sport was raised with him.

"The game is inclusive. Israel's comments are not inclusive," V'landys said at the time.

"When I was a kid and kids used to get bashed up because they were different, I used to go and defend them. And a lot of them, it's because their role models or their peers made them that way," he said.

"I have no tolerance for people that put other people's lives [at risk] or [commit] violence. It's a big statement to make. With due respect to Israel, what he says, young kids listen to. He is a role model. They act on it. And when you're a kid at school and you get bashed up because you're different, I don't think that's a good thing."

Folau, who is married to former Silver Ferns Maria Folau, was meant to play for Catalans in the Super League this year, but returned home after the birth of their first child.

The news of the Dragons' potential signing of Folau comes on the day they lost skipper Cameron McInnes to the Sharks from next season on a four year deal worth around $2.2 million.