Israel Folau

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.

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.

Israel Folau at centre of fresh controversy after choosing not to 'take a knee' before Super League match

Folau remained standing while his teammates and the opposition took a knee before kick-off in deference to the Black Lives Matter movement. The move by Folau caused a stir among some journalists covering the game and sparked largely negative responses on social media. He soon began trending on Twitter in the UK.

Guardian journalist Aaron Bower wrote: “St Helens and Catalans players take the knee before kick-off: but noticeably Israel Folau did NOT join the rest of the players in doing so. Wow.”

NRL club sounded out Folau

The Sydney rugby league club was said to have put out the feelers to see if the former Wallabies star would be interested in returning to Australia but were told it was not an option for the 31-year-old.

However, the club did not make a formal offer, the report says.

“Wests Tigers were just feeling out the situation. It didn’t go too far and nothing will come of it,” a source close to Folau was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.

Israel Folau has turned down the chance to switch from league into the Top 14

Folau reached a settlement last December with RA over his controversial sacking for writing anti-gay posts on social media. The ex-Wallabies star had been suing for Aus $14million after having his contract terminated last May. A Christian, Folau argued that the termination of his contract was a case of religious discrimination.

Unable to pick up a contract in union amid the fallout in Australia, Folau opted to make the switch to league, hooking up with Catalan Dragons, the French-based SuperLeague club.

LGBT group invited to watch Israel Folau play for his Super League club

The Dragons have invited the Perpignan group to the match against the Salford Red Devils on Saturday (Sunday NZ time).

Folau - sacked by Rugby Australia in 2019 after he published social media posts warning hell awaits homosexuals - has been the target of protest over his comments which he has claimed stem from his Christian faith.

Catalans were criticised after a Castleford Tigers fan complained stewards tried to stop her bringing a rainbow flag to Folau's first Super League game in Perpignan in February.