A Sydney club is trying to lure Israel Folau back to the NRL a year after being fired from Rugby Australia for a string of homophobic posts
- NRL club Wests Tigers is said to be interested in fired rugby star Israel Folau
- No formal offer was made after Folau had indicated that he wanted to stay in France
- The contract for Rugby Australia was terminated a year ago due to homophobic reports
Fired Wallabies star Israel Folau has reportedly been polled on a potential NRL comeback a decade after he last played in the league.
Clearly, Wests Tigers expressed interest in the dual international, which was crushed last year due to a series of offensive homophobic social media posts.
But the Sydney-based club did not make a formal offer after Folau indicated that he plans to stay in France where he signs with Super League club Catalans Dragons where he hopes to sign a new one-year contract.
Wests Tigers just sensed the situation. It didn’t go too far and nothing will come of it, ‘a source close to Folau told the Daily telegram.
NRL club West Tigers reportedly expressed interest in Israel Folau (pictured with wife Maria), but no formal offer was made
However, the deal may not have gone through even if Folau was considering returning to Sydney.
Clearly, the NRL is unlikely to register Folau, the first Australian athlete fired for expressing his religious affiliation.
ARLC chairman Peter V’landys has previously expressed his views on the saga.
“The game is included. Israel’s comments are not inclusive, “V’landys told reporters last November.
“When I was little and kids were beaten up because they were different, I started defending them. And a lot of them, because their role models or their colleagues made them that way.
“With respect for Israel, what he says, young children listen. He is a role model. They act on it. And if you’re a kid at school and you get confused because you’re different, I don’t think that’s a good thing. ‘
Israel Folau pictured with wife Maria who left Melbourne’s Federal Circuit Court last December after reaching a confidential agreement with his former employer Rugby Australia
Folau had torn his $ 4 million contract last May after twice uploading religious posts that Rugby Australia found offensive.
He started a Fair Work procedure, but failed to reach a settlement with his former employer.
The two sides eventually reached a confidential settlement last December, including an apology to Folau from Rugby Australia.
Folau played 73 Tests for the Wallabies and became Super Rugby’s all-time best-scorer prior to his looting.
Folau’s career started in the rugby league, playing 91 NRL games, five Origin games for Queensland and representing Australia eight times.
He also played 13 games for AFL club GWS Giants in 2011-12.
Israel Folau played with the NSW Waratahs for seven seasons until his Rugby Australia was fired