Folau must wait to make Super League debut

Former Wallabies star Israel Folau will have to wait for his Super League debut for Catalans

Israel Folau will have to wait to make his Super League debut after being left out of Catalans Dragons coach Steve McNamara's 21-man squad for Sunday's game at Wakefield.

The 30-year-old former Wallabies star, whose signing has been criticised by all sections of the sport because of his homophobic views, did not arrive in the country until last weekend.

The PA news agency understands that Folau, who was sacked by Rugby Australia last May after claiming "hell awaits" gay people, will not travel with the squad to Yorkshire this weekend.

The former Melbourne and Brisbane NRL star, who has signed a 12-month deal with the French club, has trained all week with his new teammates but McNamara had warned that it will take time for him to get up to speed with the game.

Folau's last match for NSW Waratahs was last April and he has not played rugby league since switching codes 10 years ago.

He could now make his debut in the Dragons' home game against Castleford on Saturday week.

Wakefield have already made plans to celebrate inclusivity in the sport by inviting LGBT groups to Sunday's match.

Super League executive chairman Robert Elstone this week admitted he had sleepless nights over whether to sanction the signing of Folau and conceded the game "came to the wrong conclusion".

The Rugby Football League said it was powerless to prevent the registration but Super League clubs voted at a meeting in Salford on Wednesday to look for ways to tighten up the rules to prevent such a signing in future.