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'Respectful' Folau rewarded with contract extension by Catalan Dragons

The 31-year-old was sacked by Rugby Australia in May 2019 over a homophobic social media post.

Israel Folau of Catalan Dragons.
Israel Folau of Catalan Dragons.
Image: PA

ISRAEL FOLAU, WHO was sacked by Rugby Australia in May 2019 over a homophobic social media post, has signed a one-year contract extension with Catalan Dragons, the French Super League side said today.

Folau, 31, made his return to the 13-a-side code in February with the Dragons after a decade playing Australian rules football and union.

“Me and my family are very excited to stay on at the club for season 2021. We’re very grateful for the opportunity that (president) Bernard Guasch and the Dragons have given me,” Folau told the club’s website.

“I’m looking forward to working hard and achieving great success on the field with my team mates and this great club,” he added.

The back-three player turned down an offer to return to the 15-a-side game, rejecting a deal from Top 14 side Montpellier in May.

“Once the media storm that followed his signing passed, and after only three Super League appearances, he received many requests and became a highly demanded player,” Guasch said.

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“He has shown he is a respectful player since he arrived at the club. He will be 32 years old at the end of his new contract and we will then think about the rest of his career,” he added.

Folau scored 37 tries in 73 rugby union Tests before being dumped by Australia after a post saying that “hell awaits” gay people and others he considers sinners.

Super League will resume on 2 August after the campaign was postponed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

© – AFP, 2020

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