Israel Folau linked with return to rugby union

Controversial cross-code athlete Israel Folau has been linked – albeit tenuously – with a move back 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.

According to Midi, Folau had piqued the interest of Bayonne in recent times, but  that old faithful Toulon were now interested in luring the star back to the fifteen man code.

Folau shone for the Catan Dragons in Super League, hitting the ground running in Perpignan, where he required just six minutes to score a try on his debut. However, his return was stopped in its tracks by the season-suspending coronavirus pandemic.

He rewarded their generosity in offering him a contract by extending with the franchise.  The NRL had turned their noses up at Folau, despite huge interest among individual clubs to bring him back to Australian rugby league.

It may be a case of watch this space.