St George Illawarra Dragons withdraw Israel Folau NRL interest following backlash

Dragons withdraw Folau interest following backlash

St George Illawarra have confirmed they've pulled out of any pursuit of controversial dual international Israel Folau.

Following a stinging backlash on Wednesday, the club released a statement saying "while the Dragons did enquire about signing Folau, the club can confirm that such discussions have now ceased".

On Tuesday, Dragons chief executive Ryan Webb confirmed to the Mercury the Dragons were interested in signing the 31-year-old, who had previously posted controversial and homophobic beliefs on social media.

It's a major turnaround, after St George Illawarra had proposed including a number of clauses in Folau's contract limiting his social media use and allowing for early termination should he breach the conditions.

With 18 months having passed since he was sacked by Rugby Australia, Webb told the Mercury's Cameron Mee that Folau deserves a second chance in the NRL.

"We've shown interest in Israel," Webb told the Mercury. "We have spoken to him about a contract and gone to the NRL and asked for them to consider if they'd register him.

"They're going through their own internal processes now, we're working with them and their timelines.

"For us, we think he's a good footballer. There was a lot of controversy around him at the time that was fair. Eighteen months has passed, he's learned a bit since then.

"We're at a time now where we think it's fair to consider him joining rugby league again."

Subscribe to our newsletters

This story Dragons withdraw Folau interest following backlash first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.