Israel Folau returns to rugby league with Tonga

Israel Folau is set to return to rugby league at the end of the year to play for Tonga in Tests against Australia and Great Britain.

The Tonga National Rugby League released a statement on Monday to say the former Melbourne Storm and Brisbane Broncos player and his younger brother John had made themselves available for Mate Ma’a Tonga this autumn.

John played eight matches for Parramatta Eels between 2015-16 and both brothers have been playing rugby union in recent seasons for the Waratahs.

Israel represented Australia rugby union’s Wallabies before his contract was terminated by Rugby Australia due to a homophobic social media post in April.

He is in an ongoing court case with Rugby Australia, seeking a multimillion-dollar sum in lost wages following his sacking back in May.

Folau played eight matches for Australia’s rugby league national side from 2007-09 but qualifies to play for the pacific island due to his Tongan parents.

In a statement released by the TNRL, Folau said: “I don’t want to bring any of my personal matters into this and I am grateful that the IRLF have endorsed my availability.

“What I will do now is focus on playing great rugby league and do my talking on the field.”

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About Drew Darbyshire 8360 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

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