Israel Folau will return to rugby union for the first time since 2019 in next season’s Top League with the NTT Communications Shining Arcs.
Former Australia international Folau hasn’t played rugby union since his contracts with the Wallabies and the New South Wales Waratahs were terminated following a number of social media posts that were deemed to be homophobic.
The controversial Australian has played rugby league since then for French club the Catalan Dragons in the Super League, but he hasn’t played in the 15-man code in over two years.
Israel Folau has scored a try on his first appearance for Catalan Dragons against Castleford Tigers. pic.twitter.com/socxNFUmDn
— Sky Sports Rugby League (@SkySportsRL) February 15, 2020
Linking up with former Munster head coach Rob Penney.
That now looks set to change however, as Folau was revealed as one of six new signings by the Shining Arcs ahead of next season’s Top League.
Folau will join up with former Munster and Waratahs head coach Rob Penney in Japan, who will take over as the Shining Arcs’ director of rugby next season.
The former Wallaby isn’t the only high-profile signing announced by the Shining Arcs, as former Auckland Blues and Maori All Black fly-half Otere Black, as well as Japan international James Moore are also joining the club.
Israel Folau’s career to date.
Folau has struggled to find a club in recent times as a result of his controversial views, but there is no doubting the Australian’s quality on the rugby pitch.
The former Waratahs back is Super Rugby‘s top try-scorer of all time, having scored 60 tries in 96 appearances for the Sydney-based club.
His try-scoring record at international level isn’t too bad either, having crossed the try line on 37 occasions in 73 appearances for his country.
The 32-year-old hasn’t played much top-level rugby as of late, but should he regain his form while in Japan, he should have a big on-field impact for the Shining Arcs.