Israel Folau cops brutal reality check as new team humiliated 88-0

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Tony Williams and Israel Folau, pictured here watching the Southport Tigers' loss to Burleigh Bears.
Tony Williams and Israel Folau watch on during the Southport Tigers' loss to Burleigh Bears at Pizzey Park. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Israel Folau watched on rather sheepishly as his potential new team were thrashed 88-0 in the Gold Coast A-Grade competition on Saturday night.

The former Wallabies and NRL star is hoping to play for the Southport Tigers, in a bid backed by billionaire businessman Clive Palmer.

'IT'S A DISGRACE': Outrage over Queensland State of Origin move

JACK'S BACK: De Belin cheered on return after charges were withdrawn

But the Queensland Rugby League said last week it could not proceed with Folau's registration until they received a clearance from Catalans Dragons - the French-based Super League club the 32-year-old was supposed to play for this year.

Folau might have been thanking his lucky stars that he didn't play after the Tigers were humiliated 88-0 by the Burleigh Bears.

Folau watched on from the stands as the Bears ran in 15 unanswered tries to maul the Tigers.

Burleigh are first on the Gold Coast A-Grade ladder with four wins, while the Tigers have one win from three attempts.

Sitting alongside Folau was former NRL player Tony Williams, who was recently sacked by the New York Freedom in America over comments he made about Jarryd Hayne's jail sentence for rape.

Palmer is reportedly trying to get Williams a start for the Southport Tigers as well.

Israel Folau lawyers taking QRL to court

Last week Folau instructed his lawyers to take action against the Queensland Rugby League, claiming he's being discriminated against.

Folau had his contract with Rugby Australia torn up in 2019 after a series of homophobic social media posts.

He subsequently joined Catalans in January last year and extended his deal until the end of the 2021 campaign last July.

Israel Folau, pictured here at Pizzey Park watching the Southport Tigers.
Israel Folau at Pizzey Park watching the Southport Tigers. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

While the QRL said Folau's controversial social media posts do not align with their beliefs, they were willing to grant him permission to play with the Tigers "at a community rugby league level and no higher" should Catalans provide a clearance.

The French club insists Folau remains contracted to them and had left the door open to his return having let him travel to Australia on compassionate grounds.

In a statement, Sam Iskander from Alexander Law said the QRL's conditions for approving Folau's registration were different to any of his potential teammates at the Tigers.

"We do not understand why Israel is being treated differently to any other player seeking registration in the QRL by placing conditions on him which have not been placed on any other player seeking registration from the Southport Tigers," Iskander said.

"We can only conclude it is because of his religious beliefs.

"Israel is seeking the right to claim damages from the QRL, its board members and any other person who has discriminated against him by denying him lawful rights."

with AAP

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

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