Steve McNamara eager for Israel Folau to hit the ground running

James Messenger

Catalans Head Coach Steve McNamara is hopeful that Israel Folau can make an immediate impact when he makes his Super League debut later this month. 

The 30-year-old controversially joined the Dragons on a one-year deal, despite objection from players, coaches and supporters over homophobic social media comments he has made in the past.

Following those remarks, Folau had his contract terminated with Rugby Australia last year, but now has a second chance to resurrect his career following his move to the South of France.

He was not included in their squad for yesterday’s defeat to Huddersfield, but McNamara insists he will get his first action in a Dragons jersey very soon.

Catalans have not announced whether Folau was already in the country, but rumours circulating on social media suggested that the Australian was already settling into Perpignan life.

He said: “We’ve made the signing, we’ve made the statement, there will be further stuff to follow – but not right now.

“Another outside back is going to be good for us, we’re down right there at the moment with Lewis Tierney out and Tom Davies. Brayden Wiliame has left, so we’re a little bit short in those areas and it would be nice to have an extra body on board.”

The Dragons endured a difficult start to the 2020 season as Simon Woolford’s side ran in five tries at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.

Following an error-strewn display, McNamara says his side need to keep calm at the crucial moments if they are to turn pressure into points.

“We’re clearly disappointed with our performance in round one at home,” he said. “I just thought we failed to build any pressure whatsoever on the opposition.

“Every time we looked like we had found our rhythm we found a way to either give a penalty away or make an error. I’m really disappointed but not too downbeat because I know we’ve got a good team in that dressing room.

“I thought Huddersfield played really well and they managed to put enough pressure on us to get the win.”

More on site

Nat Butcher signs new Roosters deal

Ryan James suffers second ACL injury in 12 months

Sunday Social: Burgess’ difficult debut, all hail Sezer, Burrow in the USA

Quiz: Can you name all Rugby League World Cup winning captains?

Cronulla’s Fine Kula diagnosed with brain cancer