Israel Folau set for rugby league return with Tonga
Sacked Wallabies full-back Israel Folau could be set for a return to rugby league after being registered to play for Tonga in their upcoming Test matches.
Folau had his contract terminated by Rugby Australia in May following an Instagram post which said: “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters” would go to hell unless they repented.
The 30-year-old has since launched legal action against the governing body but the outcome of that case may not be known until 2020.
Tonga are due to play Great Britain on October 26 and Australia a week later, and Folau is looking forward to the chance of potentially featuring in rugby league once again.
“I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to represent God, my family, my heritage and the people of Tonga,” he said. “I am thankful that the RLIF have accepted my availability to play.
“I don’t want to bring any of my personal matters into this and I am grateful that the IRLF have endorsed my availability.
“What I will do now is focus on playing great rugby league and do my talking on the field.”
Israel Folau is attempting to return to rugby league to represent Tonga in end-of-season Tests against Great Britain and Australia. However, it is understood there will be a strong push by members of the RLIF board to veto the move.@NRLcomhttps://t.co/fDpBK6ueSQ pic.twitter.com/B6Dno6rKJ9— Brad Walter (@BradWalterSport) September 23, 2019
Head coach of the Tongan national team Frank Endacott welcomed Folau’s return, who is set to be joined by his brother, John, in the squad.