Israel Folau has reportedly turned down the opportunity to switch back into rugby union following his cross-code move to rugby league at the start of this year following the termination of his Rugby Australia contract. 

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Folau reached a settlement last December with RA over his controversial sacking for writing anti-gay posts on social media. The ex-Wallabies star had been suing for Aus $14million after having his contract terminated last May. A Christian, Folau argued that the termination of his contract was a case of religious discrimination.

Unable to pick up a contract in union amid the fallout in Australia, Folau opted to make the switch to league, hooking up with Catalan Dragons, the French-based SuperLeague club.

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He hit the ground running in Perpignan, requiring just six minutes to score a try on his debut. However, his return was stopped in its tracks by the season-suspending coronavirus pandemic.

Amid the virus-enforced layoff, Folau seemingly became subject to an offer to move to Montpellier, the Top 14 union club where Philippe Saint-Andre, the 2015 France World Cup coach, has recently taken charge. 

It must surely have been tempting for Folau to make a quick return to the XV-a-side code, given that he is still one of the most talented backs around after a 78-Test cap career. 

But rather than give in to this temptation, rugbyrama.fr are reporting that the 31-year-old has instead opted to take up a contract extension at the Dragons and will remain in the 13-a-side game for next season. 

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Folau’s comeback amounted to just three appearances, but the Catalan club’s faith in the Australian has been repaid with his decision to stay with them rather than make a swift switch to a different place – and a different sport – in France. 

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