Catalans Dragons have confirmed the signing of controversial cross-code star Israel Folau on a one-year deal.
Aged just 17 when he began his career in the NRL in 2007 with Melbourne, Folau broke the record for most tries in a debut year and was named Dally M Rookie of the Year. He had a successful four-year stint in the game, scoring 73 tries in 91 NRL games. He also represented Queensland in the State of Origin and Australia, becoming the youngest ever player to play for both teams before, in 2011, embarking on a two-year spell in Aussie Rules.
Following that, he moved to rugby union with the Waratahs and, the same year, made his international debut for Australia. Such was his success for the Wallabies, he was named the side’s Player of the Year a record three times in 2014, 2015 and 2017. 30-year-old Folau is the fourth highest try scoring Australian international player with 37 tries in 73 tests and he, in 2019 the record holder for most tries scored in Super Rugby history.
In 2019, Folau’s rugby union career was ended after an independent panel backed Rugby Australia’s intention to rip up his multi-million dollar contract following the player’s controversial social media posts which said hell awaits “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers” and others.
Both the RFL and Super League have released statements regarding the registration of Folau at Catalans Dragons with both of whom noting that the eight-time Australian rugby league international hasn’t been convicted of a crime while stating their opposition to the views previously published by Folau.