Ex-Wallaby Folau's bid to switch codes hits snag

Sports | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 25 Sep 2019

International rugby league's governing body yesterday rejected Israel Folau's claim he had been cleared to make a shock return to the sport representing Tonga.

Folau, fired by Rugby Australia over social media posts warning "hell awaits" gays and other sinners, said Monday that he had received a green light to rejoin the 13-man code he left in 2010.

But the Rugby League International Federation issued a terse rebuff, saying: "That statement is incorrect. The [federation] has not been formally asked to consider this matter."

The federation's stance means Folau's plan to revive his sporting fortunes playing rugby league for Tonga in upcoming Tests against Australia and Britain is uncertain.

The devout Christian, a try-scoring sensation at full-back in rugby union, was set to light up the Rugby World Cup in Japan before homophobic posts derailed his career. Instead, Rugby Australia dumped him, prompting Folau to launch legal action seeking compensation.

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