Israel Folau is set to return to rugby union, just weeks after floating a potential comeback to rugby league in Australia.
The controversial former Wallabies star has reportedly signed with NTT Communications in the Japanese Top League.
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Folau was unveiled by the team as having signed a two-year deal in Japanese rugby, and will join former Waratahs coach Rob Penney, who is the Director of Rugby at the club.
It’s a bizarre twist to the ongoing saga that is Folau’s career, particularly after the path appeared to be cleared for him to join Queensland’s Southport Tigers in a rugby league return.
The Gold Coast Bulletinreported that the move even shocked Clive Palmer, who was backing Folau’s rugby league return, with a Palmer United Party spokesperson labelling it “bulls***” before being supplied the official release.
Folau was meant to debut for the Southport Tigers in the Gold Coast A-grade competition after clearing the path with former club Catalans Dragons, with whom he was engaged in a contract dispute.
Folau and Palmer even reportedly started legal action against the Queensland Rugby League about clearing the 32-year-old to play.
Folau has had no problem hopping codes. He started in the NRL with the Storm and Broncos before joining the GWS Giants in the AFL, then becoming a dual international in rugby union.
Israel Folau’s career has taken another twist.Source:AFP
His Wallabies career ended following a homophobic social media post storm that saw his contract torn up in 2019, followed by a prolonged legal battle with Rugby Australia.
He then turned up with the Catalans Dragons in the 13-man game in the UK Super League, before looking to return to Australia to play rugby league.
Folau has reportedly been in discussions with Japanese clubs for months.
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