Israel Folau Announces Return To Australian Rugby & Continues To Stand By Homophobic Tweets
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Disgraced former Wallabies fullback Israel Folau has announced he will play with his two brothers for the Southport Tigers in the Gold Coast Rugby League amateur competition this year, subject to Queensland Rugby League (QRL) approval.
The proposed move comes with the backing of team patron, billionaire-mining magnate and former politician Clive Palmer.
Palmer said he would fund legal action in support of Folau should the QRL refuse to approve the 32-year-old’s player registration.
“My commitment to Israel Folau to ensure that he can play football again is rock solid,” he told a news conference in Brisbane on Friday.
“I would pledge every cent, every dollar, and every waking moment of my time to ensure that he takes the field again.”
But the announcement has come as a shock to his Super League club Catalans Dragons who have Folau under contract for 2021. Catalans said they would demand a transfer fee for the player if Folau found an NRL club.
The 32-year-old was sacked by Rugby Australia back in 2019 following a homophobic post but is now looking to resurrect his career down under.
Asked about the social media post on Friday, Folau said he stood by “the Bible and what the Bible says, every written word that’s written in that book, I stand by that and that’s all I’ll say about that.”
“At the moment I’m just excited about joining Southport and playing alongside my brothers, that’s something I’ve never done in my career,” he added.