Israel Folau could make a stunning return to the Test arena after it was revealed he is in contention for selection for Tonga’s rugby league side.
The cross-code star had only just returned to rugby league via Catalans Dragons in the European Super League after he was booted from rugby union following his controversial social media posts.
Following much speculation that Folau might represent Tonga at next year’s Rugby League World Cup, Tonga coach Kristian Woolf has admitted he has spoken with the former Wallaby about the possibility.
‘If he’s playing well enough, our job is to pick the best team to represent Tonga. If he puts himself into a position where he is playing better than people who have been there in the past, we certainly need to consider it,’ Woolf said.
‘Our first thoughts are we have to be loyal to the blokes who have done such a tremendous job over the past couple of years. Unless they no longer deserve to be there, they will get the nod.’
When asked if Folau would be welcomed by the Tongan players if he were to make the selection cut, Woolf said: ‘We’d cross that bridge if we come to it. At the moment he’s only back in the sport for the first time in something like 10 years. There hasn’t been anything discussed.
‘I know that all good players feel the same way – they certainly want the team to be picked from who is playing the best and who will represent Tonga the best.
‘Anyone who is going to come into the side is going to have to force their way in there because we’ve got a group of blokes who have performed over a long period of time. They certainly deserve loyalty.’
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