Israel Folau
Israel Folau

Former rugby league star Matthew Johns said Greater Western Sydney forward Israel Folau will walk away from his AFL contract and return to the NRL next year.

Folau put pen to paper on a four-year deal with the Giants in 2010 but has struggled to make an impact for the AFL newcomers.

Johns said there are rumours circulating Folau will make the switch back to rugby league at season's end.

"Israel Folau will be out of his GWS contract by September," Johns said on ''Triple M'' on Monday.

"They're negotiating a release right now, and next year, he will be playing in the NRL in Sydney.

"Given the urgency of the Luke Lewis situation, maybe it's the Panthers, but another guy said to me it will be the Bulldogs.

"The Bulldogs are the richest club in the league.

"They have got huge amounts of money, so if there is one club that is able to buy Israel Folau - financially alone - it is the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

"It would be a big attraction for Israel."

Folau has kicked just one goal in seven matches for Kevin Sheedy's side before spending several weeks on the sidelines with a back injury.

He has not featured for the Giants since Round 8, but is expected to line-up this Sunday against Adelaide at Skoda Stadium.


More from 7Sport

Queensland coach Kevin Walters fought back tears discussing the decision to leave Billy Slater out of his Origin I team, but was it actually his decision?