News, Culture & Society

Israel Folau is set to make a shock comeback to rugby league 

BREAKING NEWS: Israel Folau is set to make a shock comeback to rugby league after the union star was sacked over homophobic Facebook posts

  • The dumped Wallabies star will play for Tonga against Great Britain in November
  • He will play after being endorsed by the Rugby League International Federation
  • Folau’s return comes months after he was sacked for an Instagram post in April

Israel Folau will return to rugby league and play for Tonga against Great Britain in the Pacific nation’s clash in November.

‘I don’t want to bring any of my personal matters into this and I am grateful that the [ Rugby League International Federation] have endorsed my availability,’ Folau said in a statement.  

The dumped Wallabies player’s return comes months after Rugby Australia [RA] terminated his contract for an Instagram post, which claimed homosexuals were going to hell unless they repent.  

 

Israel Folau (pictured right with wife Maria) will return to rugby league and play for Tonga against Great Britain in the Pacific nation’s clash in November

The dumped Wallabies player's return comes months after Rugby Australia [RA] terminated his contract for an Instagram post, which claimed homosexuals were going to hell unless they repent

The dumped Wallabies player’s return comes months after Rugby Australia [RA] terminated his contract for an Instagram post, which claimed homosexuals were going to hell unless they repent 

A statement by the Tonga National Rugby League released a statement on Monday said the 30-year-old and his younger brother John, made themselves available to play for Mate Ma’a Tonga.

‘What I will do now is focus on playing rugby league and do my talking on the field,’ he said in the statement.  

Folau is banned from playing for Tonga in the World Nines at Bankwest Stadium because the game is run by the NRL.

But he would be allowed to play in the Test matches with Great Britain because the event is under the Rugby League International Federation.  

The Christian footballer is currently locked in a legal battle with Rugby Australia and is suing for $10millon in damages, including a $5.7million payout for the remainder of his lucrative $4million contract.

The RA sacked Folau for breaching his code of conduct when he shared a controversial Instagram post (pictured) in April

The RA sacked Folau for breaching his code of conduct when he shared a controversial Instagram post (pictured) in April 

The RA sacked Folau for breaching his code of conduct when he shared a controversial Instagram post in April.   

The post paraphrased a bible verse from Corinthians saying ‘drunks, homosexuals, fornicators, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters’ should repent for their sins or face going to hell. 

Both sides are likely to clash at a trial in February next year if a court-directed mediation hearing fails in December. 

The NRL has previously stated they will not allow Folau to return, with ARLC chairman Peter Beattie saying their ‘position on Israel Folau remains the same’. 

‘We are inclusive game with respect for all. Israel has social media posts online that go against what our game stands for,’ he said earlier this year. 

‘As it stands, he will not be considered for registration. What Israel chooses to do in relation to his social media posts and his faith is a matter for him.’ 

Folau would be allowed to play in the Test matches with Great Britain because the event is under the Rugby League International Federation and not the NRL

Folau would be allowed to play in the Test matches with Great Britain because the event is under the Rugby League International Federation and not the NRL

Tonga coach Frank Endacott - who was only appointed two weeks ago - said Folau's return to the game was 'great news'

Tonga coach Frank Endacott – who was only appointed two weeks ago – said Folau’s return to the game was ‘great news’ 

Tonga coach Frank Endacott – who was only appointed two weeks ago – said Folau’s return to the game was ‘great news’. 

‘These guys are great footballers and bring size, pace and skill to the team. They will make a huge impact in the team and provide exciting attack options all over the park,’ he said. 

‘And it is good to see the RLIF approving these players for internationals. This is great for the game.’ 

But it is unclear if the RLIF has formally approved Folau’s return.  

More to come.   

The NRL has previously stated they will not allow Folau to return, with ARLC chairman Peter Beattie saying their 'position on Israel Folau remains the same'

The NRL has previously stated they will not allow Folau to return, with ARLC chairman Peter Beattie saying their ‘position on Israel Folau remains the same’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.