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Folau poised to confirm his next rugby move at media conference planned for Brisbane

By AAP

Trending on RugbyPass

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Controversial code-hopping ex-Australia player Israel Folau is set to announce he wants to resurrect his sporting career at a Gold Coast rugby league club. The former rugby union and rugby league international has called a press conference alongside outspoken businessman Clive Palmer in Brisbane on Friday morning to announce his future.

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It’s understood Palmer will be providing his support for Folau to join the Southport Tigers in the Gold Coast A-Grade competition. The mining magnate and former politician is associated with the Tigers.

Folau is believed to have made an application with the Queensland Rugby League to play in the Gold Coast competition. The 32-year-old returned to rugby league last year with French club Catalans after stints in AFL and then, more successfully, in rugby union.

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St George Illawarra made a bid to bring the former Wallabies star back to the NRL earlier this year before abandoning the move after an intense backlash. Folau hasn’t played professional sport in Australia since 2019 when his contract with Rugby Australia was terminated after he said “hell awaits” gay people in a social media post.

He subsequently took legal action and reached a settlement before joining Catalans. The NRL said after the Dragons’ aborted bid that Folau’s path back to the competition would only come if a club made an official application for a contract.

Catalans, where Folau is contracted until the end of 2021, have indicated they will demand compensation if he signs with an Australian club. A recent online petition from the Australian Christian Lobby garnered 12,000 signatures demanding Folau be allowed to play in the NRL.

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Folau played 91 matches for Melbourne and Brisbane in the NRL from 2007 to 2010, representing Queensland and Australia, before signing with AFL expansion side GWS. After 13 appearances for the Giants in 2012, Folau moved to rugby union, playing 73 Tests for the Wallabies from 2013 to 2019.

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Folau poised to confirm his next rugby move at media conference planned for Brisbane

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