Israel Folau hits major hurdle in Queensland Rugby League bid

·Sports Reporter
·2-min read
Israel Folau (pictured) during his press conference for the Southport Tigers.
Israel Folau's (pictured) bid to take part in the Queensland Rugby League competitiion has hit a hurdle. (Getty Images)

Israel Folau's bid to play rugby league in Queensland has hit a hurdle after he was told the process couldn't be approved yet until he was released from his contract.

In a statement on Wednesday the QRL hit back at threats of legal action by Folau's backer Clive Palmer and revealed it was yet to receive confirmation the dual international had been released from his playing contract with Catalans in France.

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Folau joined the Dragons after having his Rugby Union contract torn up in 2019 over homophobic social media posts.

But his contract still remains active with the Dragons until the end of this year and the former Wallaby player only returned to Australia on compassionate grounds.

The Catalans recently claimed they were surprised at Folau's appearance alongside Palmer last week and have refused to release Folau from his contract.

Therefore, the QRL claimed they couldn't approve Folau's rugby league return until Folau has clearance.

QRL hits back Palmer threat

The QRL made it clear Folau's controversial social media posts do not align with their beliefs and that, if he was signed, any breach of the code of conduct could lead to suspension, or the cancellation of his registration.

Palmer had sensationally given the QRL until Wednesday to clear the 32-year-old's return, claiming failure to do so will see him issue a Federal Court injunction against the governing body on religious discrimination grounds.

Israel Folau (pictured left) and Clive Palmer (pictured right) speak to the media during a press conference at the Hilton Hotel on May 21, 2021 in Brisbane, Australia.
Israel Folau (pictured left) and Clive Palmer (pictured right) speak to the media during a press conference at the Hilton Hotel on May 21, 2021 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

"While the QRL acknowledges the differing views in relation to this application, the league is astounded that public commentary has included threats of protracted legal action should registration not be granted," a QRL statement read.

"As a not-for-profit organisation, the QRL's objectives are to foster and develop the game in Queensland, and to generally take action that is considered to be in the best interests of rugby league in Queensland."

The QRL board said, on receipt of international clearance, that Folau will be "granted permission to register for the Southport Tigers at a community rugby league level and no higher".

Another condition for registration was confirmation Folau had read and understood his obligations as a player under the QRL rules and community code of conduct.

with AAP

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