'Urgent discussions': New rugby league team reportedly targeting Israel Folau

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

Could Israel Folau be about to follow Sonny Bill Williams to North America?

According to the Daily Telegraph, a new English Super League side that would be based in New York has identified Folau as a potential “face of the franchise”.

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The report claims "urgent internal discussions" are underway to ensure all stakeholders would approve of Folau’s signing.

According to the Telegraph, the New York side hasn’t made contact with Folau yet.

The English Super League already has the Toronto Wolfpack - and the New York side is to set to join their third tier competition in 2021.

Israel Folau in the stands during the Netball World Cup. (Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images)

The Wolfpack are set to play at Super League level in 2020 and recently signed Williams to a $10 million contract.

New York is also said to be eyeing off Laurie Daley, Trent Barrett and Nathan Brown as potential coaches.

“Would I go? It depends,” Daley told Big Sports Breakfast on Thursday.

“It depends on opportunity, length of deal, size of contract.

“It would be a conversation you would have. Whether or not something came of it, you’d be mad not to.”

Folau’s tumultuous year

In April, the devout Christian and star Wallaby posted on social media that Hell awaits those including homosexuals, fornicators and liars.

Rugby Australia terminated his contract and he took his case to the Federal Court, alleging restraint of trade on religious grounds.

A confidential settlement was reached in December, a month after Folau triggered more outrage when suggesting bushfires and drought ravaging Australia were "God's judgement" on the nation for legalising same-sex marriage and abortion.

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

News Corp Australia has previously reported that Folau has been training hard to get himself fit for a preferred return to rugby league.

ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys has previously publicly insisted that a return to the NRL would be difficult given his controversial stance on homosexuality is incompatible with the game's ethos.

The News Corp Australia report claims Folau would be willing to allow the NRL to vet his future social media posts if it allowed him to move back to the competition.

Folau played for Melbourne and the Broncos in his four-season NRL career between 2007 and 2010 before switching codes to join expansion club GWS in the AFL.

He played 13 AFL matches for the Giants before joining rugby union in 2013 and going on to make 62 Test appearances for the Wallabies.

with AAP