Super League will learn from Israel Folau saga, says chief Robert Elstone

Super League chief executive Robert Elstone says they will learn from the saga surrounding Catalans centre Israel Folau.

Folau, 30, has dominated the headlines since he penned a one-year deal to join the Dragons on the eve of the season.

That prompted some club owners to blast the move, and it was top of the agenda on a summit of Super League chairman in Salford the following week.

A statement issued from Elstone’s office said that they accepted the legalities around the RFL’s decision to register the former Rugby Australia star, but that they would work to put measures in place to prevent such controversy in the future.

Rugby Australia had previously been forced to settle out of court with Folau, after he challenged their sacking of him on the grounds of unfair dismissal.

Since then, Folau’s debut for Catalans at home to Castleford courted significant media attention, not least when visiting Tigers fans claimed to have been prevented from displaying a rainbow flag at the game, an accusation the French club have since denied.

Speaking at the Man of Steel launch, Elstone said: “It’s something we’re on with, we’re looking closely at what we can and can’t do. We are taking some legal advice, we’re talking to the RFL, we’re talking internally as a Super League board as a group of clubs.

“It’s something we’re committed to looking at, it’s something we’re committed to learning from.

“There’s another board meeting in three or four weeks time, and it’s very much on the agenda to see what is possible.

“It’s a challenging area, we all debated over it long and hard, we have a very different range of opinions.

“My personal opinion is made very clear, the majority of clubs were on board with that view, what we need to do is reflect on it, learn from it, and put in place whatever we can so that if it comes around again, we’re in a better place to deal with it.”

6 Comments

  1. I find it baffling that 2 superstars join Super league one is treated like a pariah for stating his religious beliefs and the other who’s word on past experience is not be trusted.Did he not walk away from his club and teammates a few years ago. I for one would trust him.Also from memory homosexuals were just one a list why not make a stand for adulterers along with the others which make up a large section of the community.
    Falou has apologised and now is the time to forgive and him get on with his life in rugby league.

    • At a time when The Church of England will not be withdrawing guidance that said sex is only for “heterosexual married couples” and muslims are campaigining outside schools for teaching LGBTQ awareness, are you picking on the right guy? He shared a post which also threatened fornicatirs, adulterers and atheists with Hell. As an atheist I feel underrepresented as all the attention seems to be on the homosexuals. Rather than turn up at a game with the aim of waving flags and protesting let’s just get on with watching and playing rugby league. If anyone’s embarrassed about this I think it should be the ones taking it seriously.

  2. This man is being pilloried for his beliefs he has not broken any laws There are people who have been allowed to return to the game who have been found guilty of taking drugs People fought and died to enable us to have freedom of speech Let’s draw a line and move on if rules are going to be changed do it for the right reasons not political ones

  3. My point is the RFL / SL massive double standards. A few seasons ago my team Castleford Tigers was fined thousands of pounds for homophobic chanting when Gareth Thomas played in Super League at Wheldon Road. The club obviously had no direct control over the chanting but they were nevertheless held to account as stated there is ‘no place for homophobia in Rugby League’
    In the case of Israel Folau, Catalans Dragons and Super League / RFL have direct control as to allowing or denying an openly homophobic player into Rugby League and surprise surprise they all allowed this to happen.
    My argument is not whether Israel Folau should or should not be allowed to be signed, it is the total hypocrisy demonstrated by SL / RFL.

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