Andrew Fifita made it known that the Tongan players weren’t too keen at first with a Folau return, but feel a return to the Nines would be a perfect way to return whilst also helping the country’s young backs in the process.
Folau is set to make his Super League debut this weekend with Catalans, and if all goes well for him, Fifita said he has no issues in Folau playing for Tonga as early as the middle of this year in a proposed test against Fiji.
After the Tongan players refused to play last season following a misunderstanding with the national board, Folau made himself available to play for Tonga officials before they were later suspended by the Rugby League International Federation.
Fifita has forgiven Folau for his past actions and is hoping that Folau has learnt his lesson and will refrain from anymore homophobic social media posts that indeed costed him his rugby career.
“We had a group chat at the time and we said, ‘If he’s in, let him play in the Nines’,” Fifita told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“We had a lot of young boys who hadn’t even experienced under-20s. We had a forward pack full of experience but a backline full of young pups, and we could have done with his experience. He was going to get sprayed no matter what, but for a good stepping stone, it was the Nines.
“I don’t agree with some of the terms he’s come out with and said, but football is football and, mate, I’ve done a lot of things in my past and I know all can be forgiven.
“For myself, it’s been adversity, adversity, adversity, then next thing you know, one year on, I’ve come back and captained my club [for one game]. There’s always room for forgiveness.
“He can’t come out with those crazy posts again. I’m all for God as well but in saying that, everyone in life deserves to be happy.
“When we’re talking about gays and lesbians, I got one who’s close to me in my sisters, I got family who are also gay and they’ve got the right to be happy. If he has a really good year, the international jersey will be waiting for him.”