“Israel Folau is a perfect role model for the game.”
Israel Folau’s legal team have taken out a Supreme Court injunction against the Queensland Rugby League (QRL) after he was not cleared to play for amateur club Southport Tigers.
The controversial Australian rugby player had planned to play for Southport alongside his brothers in the Gold Coast Premiership, but the QRL refused to register Folau as they hadn’t received confirmation that he had been released by French Super League club the Catalan Dragons.
Folau’s lawyer Sam Iskander has now released a statement on behalf of his client, per Australian publication ABC News, explaining why they were deciding to take legal action.
Israel Folau’s legal statement.
“The QRL has been unreasonable in not allowing my client to play rugby league, thereby restraining his trade. Israel Folau is a perfect role model for the game and the QRL needs to recognise that,” Iskander said.
“Israel doesn’t drink, smoke or take drugs. He has never been charged with any criminal offence. He loves his wife and his son. He has a rugby playing record second to none. Israel, like any other Australian, has the right to support his family.
“All Israel wants is the opportunity to return to the game he loves, to play alongside his brothers and to do the best he can for his wife and family.”
Registrations issues with the Catalan Dragons.
Folau hasn’t played rugby in his home country since he was released from his contract by Rugby Australia and the New South Wales Waratahs in 2019 after he made a number of social media posts that were deemed to be homophobic.
His move to the Southport Tigers is being backed by Australian billionaire Clive Palmer, who announced last month that he would “pledge every cent, every dollar, and every waking moment of my time to ensure that he takes the field again.”
According to Nine News, Folau is contracted to the Catalan Dragons until November of this year, and will not be able to play for another team until the club either releases him or his contract expires.