DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 26: Israel Folau of the Wallabies during The Rugby Championship Bledisloe Cup match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australia Wallabies at Forsyth Barr Stadium on August 26, 2017 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

As many as six NRL clubs are in the running for Israel Folau’s services, although he will cost bidding teams a considerable price tag.

Folau has previously considered a return to rugby league. Almost six years ago, when he departed AFL club Greater Western Sydney, he received a massive offer from the Parramatta Eels worth an estimated $3 million over four years.

But Folau instead opted to sign with the Australian Rugby Union, and rugby league appeared to miss its big opportunity to grab him.

Folau’s best chance to return to rugby league is via third-party deals where he would get paid under the under the salary cap. Other third-party opportunities would hinge on how badly his reputation has been tarnished in the wake of his recent derogatory comments on social media about homosexuals.

But former Melbourne Storm and Sydney Roosters recruitment chief Peter O’Sullivan affirms that vying clubs must accommodate for the fact that Folau may require a role change.

“Being out of the game for so long, I don’t know if he would have the motor to play fullback in the modern game,” O’Sullivan told The Australian.

“He would have to be satisfied with being the best centre in the game. It would take him an off-season and a couple of rounds to get back to his absolute peak. Within a month he would be the best right centre in the world.”

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When asked if clubs could justify spending big dollars on a centre, O’Sullivan said: “Yes. When you talk about Folau as a centre, you’re talking about the elite of the elite.”

“You’re coming from a place he can score so many tries and have such an impact on the game — he delivers everything you want from a footballer.”

O’Sullivan was quick to defend Folau’s character when questioned about the gay slur scandal.

“They don’t know him,” he said. “He is a beautiful soul.”

Few clubs are considered to have the necessary cap room to sign Folau, but the Eels, Storm, Knights and Bulldogs are possible landing spots.

Finding the financial space to accommodate for Folau’s big contract could act as the biggest roadblock to any possible deal.


  1. Dogs need this

    Clear the decks.

    Should also go for Seizer as well. He is the perfect fit, ticks all the boxes
    organizing half and can kick goals

    • Sezer wanted to return to the Dogs when they had Reynolds and co, or just before that.. definitely could see it happening

  2. Not welcome at Parra! He had a chance to join us years back and chose to go to another code, that’s where he should be staying.

  3. I read an article where it said bulldogs were tight on money with all their back ended contracts? Maybe why they’re trying to shed Tolman. Would be a good fit there but a better fit at the tigers, where we could make him our starting #1. Please tigers lol. But storms do seem like the ideal spot, being a junior there and all, would be a good replacement for Slater once he’s gone.

  4. To be brutally honest, I think he’ll suck at a second stint in league. He’s past his best and would just be going through the motions to collect his cheque. He’ll attract a lot of money and sponsorship, but any club that signs him will be paying a lot more than they will get on the field.

  5. The Bulldogs could certainly do with his services, but if they are to be throwing big coin around, one would think that it would be for a new half to partner Foz

  6. Why has he reputation been damaged??? He merely stated HIS beliefs and stands by them. He should be applauded for standing by his convictions, not ostricised. A man of his word….someone rare in sport people these days. Hang your head in shame greenberg, alan joyce and raelene castle. Good on you Izzy

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