Broncos coach happy with Folau comeback

·2-min read

Brisbane NRL coach Kevin Walters has no issue with Israel Folau's intention to return to rugby league at a third-tier Gold Coast club.

Folau, the controversial code-hopping dual international whose contract with Rugby Australia was terminated in 2019 after saying "hell awaits" gay people in a social media post, announced on Friday he had signed with Southport Tigers.

If his registration is approved by the Queensland Rugby League it means the ex-Bronco could be back playing rugby league in Australia by the end of the month.

Walters, a six-time premiership winner as a player, believed the 32-year-old should be allowed to play.

"I'm fine with it. Israel deserves his right to play rugby league," Walters said.

"I'm sure that the team that he's playing at will get the benefits of Israel and what he brings to a footy club."

Folau made 91 appearances for Melbourne and Brisbane during his NRL career before joining AFL expansion team GWS at the end of 2010.

Walters said a return to Red Hill for Folau was not on the cards but said if an NRL club did want to sign the ex-Wallaby he'd be comfortable with having him back in the competition.

"Certainly would. I've got no problem with him playing in the NRL," Walters said.

"Everybody, most people, have their own opinions on it and that's mine."

Wests Tigers NRL player Joe Ofahengaue also offered his support to Folau via social media, commenting on a Fox League Instagram post, "welcome back toko".

Folau welcomed the support he'd received from those within the game.

"It gives me a lot of confidence and encouragement to know that you've got these top tier players who think that I'm still able to come back in and play the game," he said.

"I'm just looking forward to putting the jersey on for Southport and getting back out there on the field."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting