Legal threats, accusations of hypocrisy fly around embattled Folau, with no firm date for his debut with Catalan Dragons in sight


Israel Folau’s career is up in the air amidst legal threats, complaints from other top level teams and accusations that those teams are being hypocritical.

Folau has been signed  by the Catalan Dragons, but has been pulled from the line up for their latest match.

He was due to play Wakefield Trinity this Sunday.

The date of Folau’s debut with the Dragons remains unclear as he has numerous fitness tests.

Folau has not played rugby league for 10 years.

The BBC said Super League had increasingly become Folau’s only option.

The British broadcaster said his availability and decision to move to the competition was directly linked to his ant-gay statements.

The French team has been criticised for signing Folau, who lost a major contract with Rugby Australia last year for posting homophobic comments on social media.

Dragons head coach Steve McNamara said the club knew Folau’s signing would be controversial but they had needed to fill a position.

Both the Rugby Football League (RFL), the British game’s governing body, and Super League said they “deplored” Folau’s statements on homosexuals.

They said it was “a difficult decision” to allow him into the competition.

Super League members, led by Hull Kingston Rovers have also threatened legal action should the signing have a detrimental impact on sponsorship and income streams.

League criticised

However, the Super League has been criticised by RNZ sports writer Hamish Bidwell in a story headlined ‘Too late for Super League to play morality card over Folau.’

“It’s a bit rich that a Super League club is threatening legal action over Israel Folau’s move to the Catalan Dragons after a long list of disgraced players have been signed by other Super League clubs over the years,” Bidwell said.

“Super League’s track record of giving safe haven to men who have done harm to others, even loved ones, is well-established and here they are now objecting to someone who wounds only with words.

“[Folau] only has himself to blame and you don’t imagine anyone has much sympathy for him.

“[But] it’s hard to forget all the other players Super League have been prepared to stomach over the years.”

The main points

Israel Folau: Super League ‘came to wrong conclusion’ in Catalans deal – chief executive

Too late for Super League to play morality card over Folau