Former Wallabies fullback Israel Folau has signed a one-year contract extension with French rugby league outfit the Catalan Dragons.
Following his fallout with Rugby Australia over homophobic posts on social media last year, Folau was stripped of his national contract and made the move to France at the beginning of this year following a settlement that allowed him to continue playing rugby league.
And, it appears to be an opportunity that the 62-Test cap Wallaby is rather grateful for, given the turbulent times he endured in the past 12 months and the added pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘Me and my family are very excited to stay on at the club for season 2021,’ said Folau.
‘We’re very grateful for the opportunity that Bernard Guasch and the Dragons have given me. I’m looking forward to working hard and achieving great success on the field with my team mates and this great club.’
The 31-year-old started his career in the rugby league format, where he even represented the Australian rugby league team between 2007-09 before switching codes to rugby union in December 2012.
He would go on to play close to a 100 games for the Waratahs in the Super Rugby before the drama started to unfold in 2019.
Catalan Dragons’ head coach Steve McNamara, however, is just as excited about the contract extension and to have a player of Folau’s calibre in his team for an extra year.
‘We are delighted that Israel has committed to the Dragons for 2021. The most impressive asset he showed in the short period before the confinement was his willingness to work hard for the team.
‘On top of that he clearly is a great athlete with a tremendous skill set. We look forward to seeing him continually improve and have an even greater influence over the team’s performances through 2020 and 2021,’ McNamara added.