Catalans coach Steve McNamara says the club knew the signing of Israel Folau was controversial – but are giving him another chance in rugby league.
The Dragons have secured Folau on a one-year contract following his sacking from Rugby Australia due to homophobic comments he posted on social media.
McNamara commented: “We knew it would be controversial. As an individual, I stand by the club’s statement that Bernard Guasch (club president) issued on the signing of Israel.
“An opportunity arose as one of our overseas players in Brayden Wiliame left our club and went to go back to play in the NRL.
“We needed an outside-back. We looked in France, England and overseas in the southern hemisphere – both in rugby league and rugby union.
“We went down the route of investigating a fair few players, Israel was on that list. Having spent a lot of time speaking to him, understanding him a lot more and getting the reassurances that we did, we made a decision as a club that we would support the signing of Israel and give him another opportunity in our game.”