Ex-Wallaby Israel Folau needed just six minutes to mark his Super League debut for Catalan Dragons with a try. 

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The controversial 30-year-old, who had his contract terminated by Rugby Australia following homophobic remarks last year, has turned to rugby league to get back into professional sport.

His last match of any kind before Saturday’s try-scoring debut for the Perpignan-based Dragons was a Super Rugby game for the Waratahs versus the Blues last April.

Folau slipped into France two weekends ago and Dragons were hopeful he would quickly dust off the cobwebs and get going on the pitch against Castleford. 

This he swiftly did, gathering a cross-field bomb from James Maloney in the corner to score, an intervention that left the home crowd chanting “Izzy! Izzy!”.

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Folau nearly scored a second try under a high ball. However, while he fell a few inches short from the line on this occasion, Dragons went on to win 38-18 in a performance where Sam Tomkins delivered a hat-trick.

The announcement that Folau was joining the Dragons had caused an immediate backlash across the Super League with one club, Wigan Warriors, even designating their home match with the French-based team next month as their official Pride Day.

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