St George Illawarra Dragons look to bring Israel Folau back to NRL

Israel Folau is set for a shock return to the NRL after St George Illawarra contacted the league about signing the controversial dual-code international player.

The Dragons have lodged an application at league headquarters to bring Folau back to the NRL for the first time since he left the Brisbane Broncos for a brief stint in the AFL in 2010.

ARLC chairman Peter V’landys had previously stated there was no way back to the NRL for Folau, after the player’s views on homosexuality led to his sacking by Rugby Australia in 2019.

“There is a process of consideration underway involving numerous stakeholders, including the NRL,” a Dragons spokesman said.

Folau’s four-year, $4m Rugby Australia contract was ripped up in 2019, after an independent panel hearing found social media posts to have breached the terms of his employment, effectively ending his rugby union career in Australia.

He moved to France where he returned to rugby league with Super League club Catalans Dragons.

Folau, 31, played a total of 91 NRL games for Melbourne Storm and Brisbane before his year with GWS Giants and an eventual move to rugby union.

After becoming a success with the NSW Waratahs, he played 73 Tests for the Wallabies before his well-publicised falling out with the governing body.

In December 2019, he reached an out-of-court settlement with RA over his sacking in the wake of an anti-gay social media post in April.

More to follow.