Saint George Illawarra has officially applied to the NRL to register the contract of the headstrong star Israel Folau.
Folau is under contract with the Catalans Dragons but hesitant to return to the Super League club due to personal reasons.
« We’re really interested in adding him to the club, » Dragons boss Ryan Webb told the Daily Telegraph. « We have spoken internally with key stakeholders and now we have asked the NRL if they would consider registering its contract. We expect a number of opinions on this decision. »
St. George Illawarra’s executive director Ryan Webb called NRL chief Andrew Abdo with a request to sign controversial soccer star Israel Folau.
The NRL previously opposed any move for Folau to return to the rugby league because of his homophobic social media posts during his rugby career.
Abdo called the chairman of the ARLC commission, Peter V’landys, as soon as he hung up at Webb to discuss the matter.
After three weeks, the NRL remains non-binding on Folau’s prospects of returning to the NRL.
The 31-year-old Folau is under contract with the Catalans Dragons but is reluctant to return to the Super League club for personal reasons.
« We’re really interested in getting him into the club, » Dragons boss Ryan Webb told News Corp.
« We have spoken internally with key stakeholders and now we have asked the NRL if they would consider registering his contract.
While the Dragons have started the process, they have yet to formally sign a contract with the NRL.
« When a formal application is made, there is a registration process and that proper process is followed and respected. »
When asked if there is an appetite for Folau back in the NRL, Abdo said, « Everyone will have an opinion … we will be very fair and transparent in this due process. »
Folau has not played in the NRL since 2010, where he played for the Broncos. He was released from the wallabies after various social media posts.
The NRL previously said Folau would not be reinstated on the Code. Former chairman and current commissioner Peter Beattie said Folau was banned from gambling.
« Israel Folau is failing because of the NRL’s culture of inclusivity, which is strongly supported by the ARLC, » said Beattie in 2019. « The ARLC would therefore not support his registration for playing NRL. »
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