Simon Woolford: Israel Folau is a good signing for Catalans

James Messenger

Huddersfield Head Coach Simon Woolford says that Catalans acquisition of controversial Australian Israel Folau is a good piece of business. 

The 30-year-old has previously expressed homophobic views on social media and was sacked by Australian Rugby Union following his outlandish remarks last year.

Despite this, he has been given a chance to revive his career at the Dragons, joining the club on a one-year deal.

Folau was not a part of the action yesterday as Woolford’s side inflicted a shock home defeat on Steve McNamara’s side with an assured display, led by the impressive Aidan Sezer on debut.

“Catalans made a decision to sign Israel, they haven’t broken any rules in signing him,” Woolford said.

“There’s been a lot of discussion and a lot of clubs are against it. But he’s here now and it’s a good signing for the Catalans, full credit to them.

“They’ve got a good player, so full credit to them. We’ll see how it plays over the next week, especially once he starts playing.”

Woolford was understandably delighted with his own Australian import, with new club captain Sezer crossing for a try, as well as adding two assists and six goals.

The 28-year-old orchestrated play throughout and totally overshadowed the Dragons’ new half-back pairing of Josh Drinkwater and World Cup winner James Maloney.

Woolford said: “Aidan Sezer’s made a huge difference to our team, I think it’s obvious for all to see.

“He’s played 160 NRL games, he’s composed and not much rattles him. He’s such a good goal-kicker as well and I thought his kicking game, along with Gasky (Lee Gaskell) showed a good variety.

“I thought they put Catalans under a lot of pressure and the more they play together the more dangerous they are going to be.

“We wanted to make sure we made a bit of a stand tonight. We’re a different team, we’ve brought in four or five different players and some young kids who got some game-time last year who have now got another pre-season behind them.

“We know where we’re heading, we know what sort of team we’ve got and what we’re capable of and tonight we took a step in the right direction.

“If we can compete like that every week and turn up with that defensive mentality I think we’ll win a lot more games than we’ll lose.”

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