RLIF deny claims they have approved Israel Folau’s rugby league return

James Gordon

The Rugby League International Federation says they have not approved the return of Israel Folau to rugby league.

Folau, 30, had his contract terminated by Australia rugby union after several controversial social media posts.

A Tonga National Rugby League statement said he had been cleared to play for them in their tests against Great Britain and Australia later this year.

An RLIF statement said: “The Rugby League International Federation is aware of a media release issued by Tonga National Rugby League stating that Israel Folau has been ‘approved’ by the RLIF to represent Tonga in international matches. That statement is incorrect, the RLIF has not been formally asked to consider this matter.

“The RLIF will not be commenting further on this situation at this stage.”

The former Melbourne Storm and Brisbane Broncos back played eight times for Australia and five times for Queensland before switching to AFL in 2011, and then to rugby union in 2013.