Israel Folau’s latest football venture will take him to Japan to play rugby union, after a drawn-out process to try to get him approved to return to rugby league in Queensland.
- Israel Folau was listed on the 2021-22 team list for NTT Communications Shining Arcs
- Folau was recently backed by Clive Palmer in an attempt to return to lower-grade rugby league in Queensland
- The QRL was accused of discrimination by Folau’s legal team for refusing to register the former Wallaby
Folau has been revealed as a new signing for NTT Communications Shining Arcs for the 2021-22 season of Japan’s Top League.
The Shining Arcs are led by former Waratahs coach Rob Penney, who spent time with Folau during his Super Rugby days.
Folau, whose decorated Wallabies career ended after a homophobic social media post, made an apparent attempt to return to lower-grade rugby league in Queensland earlier this year.
The 32-year-old’s bid to return with the Southport Tigers was backed by mining magnate Clive Palmer, but the Queensland Rugby League (QRL) would not register the controversial star.
The QRL had requested that he secure a release from his previous Super League club in France, Catalans Dragons, before he could play.
Folau said he had told the club he was not returning to France after flying home, but the Dragons said he was still contracted until November 2022.
Lawyers representing the former Wallaby had threatened to take the QRL to court for discriminating against Folau, before the Shining Arcs listed him among their new signings for 2021-22.
Folau’s new team finished fourth in their conference in the 2021 season, losing in the first round of the playoffs.
Fellow former Wallabies star Liam Gill is also on the Shining Arcs’ roster.