GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 04: Israel Folau passes during an Australian Wallabies training session at Sanctuary Cove on September 4, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Israel Folau is set to return to rugby league, signing with Super League side Catalans Dragons.

The French club announced late on Thursday night that the 30-year old has penned a one-year deal for the 2020 season.

Folau was excited to return to the 13-man code.

“I acknowledge the views expressed by Super League and the Rugby Football League," he told catalansdragons.com.

"I'm a proud Christian, my beliefs are personal, my intention is not to hurt anyone and I will not be making further public comment about them. I look forward to my return to the great game of Rugby League with the Catalans Dragons.”

Folau spent four years in the NRL, starting with the Melbourne Storm from 2007-08 before moving to the Brisbane Broncos from 2009-10.

After a largely unsuccessful stint in the AFL playing for the GWS Giants from 2011-12, he moved to rugby union.

But he was banished from the 15-man code last year for comments he made towards homosexuals.

Catalans Dragons chairman Bernard Guasch said the club does not agree with some of Foklau's views of previous comments, but wanted to give him an opportunity to bounce back.

“We want to give Israel a new opportunity to shine on the pitch. We do not support or agree with Israel’s previously expressed and controversial views which are based upon his sincerely held religious belief," Guasch said.

"We do not share or condone those views and we are totally committed to our club and our sport being open and welcoming to everyone. We do not believe that those views should be publicly expressed, especially by a high-profile sports person.

"We have a signed agreement with the RFL. Any transgression will trigger an immediate termination of Israel’s contract and a substantial fine for the club.”

 

22 COMMENTS

  1. Good signing for Catalans. Obviously the French dont subscribe to all this PC nonsense….unlike the NRL and ARU who have their panties so tightly wound up attempting to placate everybody.
    How ‘bout we acknowledge that everyone has their own opinion and seperate sport from all this political and emotive rubbish. Who the hell WOULD’NT want Izzy playing for their club???

  2. Here we go everyone will be saying how great it is to have Folau back in sports and what ever happened to freedom of speech!

  3. toddy, you mock the loss of free speech at your peril. It is the greatest freedom human beings can possess. Sadly today it seems that freedom of speech is only allowed provided it isn’t aimed at certain taboo subjects.

    I think this is a great win for the ESL and sets up that competition for a very interesting (and hopefully growth) year.

  4. Who gives a rats ar$e to be honest. Like it or not everyone has the right to their own opinion no matter how right or wrong they are. I think this bloke has whored himself across every code and has always been a $$$ person. Surely there’s nil love for the game, just $$$

  5. Panthers

    Slander is one thing, it is generally targeted at a named individual who can then sue if he/she so wishes however expressing your views without malice and without any intent to harm whether that view is right or wrong should never ever be something that is considered wrong.

    Views about Souths and Easts are expressed on here ad nauseum and as much as I am sick of reading it, I would always defend their rights to spout such drivel (there, I have expressed an opinion).

  6. The Great Northern Rooster
    Glad you see it as a great signing.
    Love to hear your views on the anthem debate thread.
    🤣🤣🤣

  7. Rucky

    Let me get this straight your all for freedom of speech, yet when the indigenous players have a say on what they believe in, your response is quite negative. So my question is which are you a hypocrite or a racist?

  8. Let him play. He’s not a woman basher or a druggie. lets not forget it wasnt only gays that IG post was about, every single one of us was mentioned in it too!

  9. My question to you toddy123 – is did Rucky ever say kick them out of the sport and treat them like a criminal because they’ve said something he disagreed with?

    You’re mistaking us agreeing with Folau with permitting him to acknowledge he believes the nonsense he subscribes to.

    To me, the real hypocrites are the people who pretend like Folau is the first guy to tweet that image out – I’ve seen it a thousand times from people on the internet. It’s just a hard line belief held by many people, world wide. It’s not a revelation in any way. You might as well ban religion if you’re going to not allow people to believe that stuff.

  10. Super League is where once-good players go when they’re washed up. You’d be lucky to pick a combined Super League team that would finish in the top eight in the NRL. Perfect place for $BW and I$rael.

    I hope there’s enough room for both of their egos.

  11. Fantastic to see firstly Israel to win against the Rugby Union and now win against the NRL by proudly being shown off by French club Catalans DragonQueeeens. So happy that justice prevails once again.

  12. By the way what he said about the worst bushfires in Australias history certainly proves that the high power man is not one to upset. All we need now is a bolt of lightning on Oxford Streets big day to clean up the shambles. Hahahaha Bunch of .Faiiry’s.

  13. 😂😂 Brennan you do know a song is only words and music? People a free to speak and people a free to say nothing! Now have a good think in that brilliant mind of yours, then explain how my post makes me a clown

  14. Toddy, I am neither a hypocrite nor a racist. They are saying what they believe (and I defend their right to say it) however I am also using my right to express my opinion on their actions.

  15. What Folau said was nowhere near as bad as what an ex footy player, grand final hog, big mouth said stating to the media that the US deserved what they got with 9/11 when 3000 were killed.
    He then had to race on to the Ray Martin show that evening to take it back….

    That clown should have be banned from all sport.

  16. Facts don’t make a good headline Mole. Yes the media driven hysteria around his idiotic comments keep the story going but who cares so long as people respond to the story them mission accomplished

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