Sydney club's stunning attempt to lure Israel Folau back to NRL

Reports suggest the West Tigers had interest in signing former Wallabies and NRL star Israel Folau for the competition restarted. (Getty Images)

Israel Folau was reportedly sounded out over a possible return to the NRL with Wests Tigers.

The Sydney rugby league club was said to have put out the feelers to see if the former Wallabies star would be interested in returning to Australia but were told it was not an option for the 31-year-old.

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However, the club did not make a formal offer, the report says.

"Wests Tigers were just feeling out the situation. It didn't go too far and nothing will come of it," a source close to Folau was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.

Folau is said to prefer remaining in France with Super League club Catalans, whose president Bernard Guasch has said he expects Folau to sign a new one-year deal with the Perpignan-based club.

The former dual-code international, sacked by Rugby Australia last year for controversially posting religious tweets which some found offensive, has also rejected approaches from French rugby union clubs, including Top 14 outfit Montpellier.

V’landys wants NRL crowds

Rugby league boss Peter V'landys has set another ambitious target for the game ahead of the NRL's resumption, saying he wants crowds in stadiums from July 1.

With his goal of getting the NRL back underway by May 28 set to be realised on Thursday when Brisbane host Parramatta at Suncorp Stadium, the ARL Commission chairman is hoping to get fans at grounds in just over a month.

"You are allowed so many people so we will start looking at that with the biosecurity measures in the coming weeks," V'landys told News Corp Australia.

Israel Folau of Catalan Dragons breaks past Josh Griffin of Hull FC. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

"And I am not saying capacity crowds. I have to stress capped crowds. That is one way you can reward the members that have stuck firm."

V'landys says getting crowds at games is the "last puzzle" in managing the competition during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Potential attendances would depend on the size of venues, with V'landys conceding social distancing regulations will play a role in just how many people will be allowed in.

"In ANZ you might be able to get 20,000 with social distancing, whereas somewhere like Kogarah you might get 5000," he said.

"I am only guessing these figures, but it is absolutely on the radar. That is the next challenge."