Brian Carney astonished by Israel Folau signing

Former dual-code international and Sky Sports presenter Brian Carney has slammed Catalans Dragons for the signing of Israel Folau.

Folau, 30, penned a one-year deal to join the Dragons for the 2020 season in arguably the most controversial signing in Super League history.

Both Super League and the RFL aired their dismay at the move, and both received criticism for enabling the move to happen.

But Carney says that ultimately it is the Dragons who have made the decision to sign the Australian.

Carney said: “The problem lies with the fact his views are known, publicly expressed and unchanged.
“Catalans Dragons disagree, distance themselves from those views, but still signed the player.

“They were under no (obligation) to sign Israel Folau, the RFL were compelled to register the player when there were no legal prohibiting factors.

“Robert (Elstone)’s hands are tied, the RFL hands were tied. The Catalans Dragons hands were not tied, they have made the decision and that I find astonishing.”


The signing of Folau prompted unprecedented criticism of the game following his comments, particularly towards the LGBT+ community.

Wigan responded by announcing that their game against the Dragons in March will be a designated “Pride” game, with local and national LGBT+ groups invited.

Wakefield chairman Michael Carter launched a scathing attack on how the move was announced, and said that no other Super League clubs supported the move.

His former player Keegan Hirst, now at Halifax, also took to Twitter to slam the move.

Earlier, Love Rugby League editor James Gordon appeared on Shelagh Fogerty’s show on LBC radio to discuss the move.



  1. So what happened to freedom of speech im not defending israel folau by any stretch of the imagination but if its against his religion who are we to say if hes wrong or not after all he got awarded 7.3 million dollars in australia in a court of law because he got sacked for saying things that he believes in what happens to hate preachers NOTHING

  2. Can I have express my views that MR Carney is not fit to talk RL because he covers the GFA games? That is nonsense as is Mr Carneys view. I would have thought the world was more enlightened than to be worried by what a sports person says.

  3. “What happens to hate preachers – NOTHING” … I would disagree. It seems that if they know how to score tries, they get signed to play professional Rugby League.

    As for “worried by what a sports person says” – well, I’m sure teenage kids who face being bullied at school are worried about what a sports person says – words have power and whilst they are his personal views, they should have remained just that.

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