Israel and Maria Folau's stunning baby news come to light

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

Israel and Maria Folau are reportedly expecting their first child together.

As first reported by the Daily Telegraph, Maria is said to be in her second trimester of pregnancy and the couple are expecting a baby later this year.

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Israel and Maria are currently based in France after the former Wallaby’s controversial move to the Catalans Dragons in the Super League.

“But word from Folau’s inner circle is the couple will return to Australia to have the baby later this year, as NRL clubs wait to pounce for his impending resurrection,” the Telegraph reports.

Israel was sacked by Rugby Australia last May for making homophobic comments on social media.

Maria and Israel Folau leave Federal Court after meeting with Rugby Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Controversy follows Folau to France

Catalans' signing of Folau drew widespread criticism after the player claimed on social media that “hell awaits” gay people.

Some Castleford fans displayed rainbow flags at his first game in Perpignan to demonstrate their support of LGBT issues.

The Dragons responded to complaints by insisting the only flag requested to be removed during the game was one obstructing an advertising hoarding but they have been asked by the Rugby Football League after it carried out its own investigation to put provisions in place to avoid any confusion in the future.

An RFL spokesman said: “Whilst no formal disciplinary action is being taken against the club, the Dragons have been issued with an advisory notice regarding improved provisions to prevent any future confusion around policies relating to any flags at the stadium both with spectators and all staff who are employed by the stadium.

“This should include clear messaging to stewards regarding the club's policy on flags and the club's and Rugby League's commitment to inclusivity - including the Enjoy the Game campaign - and the right for spectators to respectfully promote this inclusion.”

Maria Folau retired from international netball late last year after a glittering career with the Silver Ferns.

She previously said the couple were grateful for the career lifeline.

“Glad he got his first game of rugby league under his belt in a very long time and look, we just praise God every day for this wonderful opportunity,” Maria told Seven News.

“He played so well,” she also told Nine News.

“Not just myself but even his family were extremely nervous about how today was going to go.

“I’m just so blessed that he was out there to play the game that he grew up loving and we’re so blessed to have this opportunity to be here in the south of France.”

with AAP