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Dragons end Israel Folau talks after backlash over proposed NRL return


St George Illawarra have abandoned their intentions to sign Israel Folau following intense backlash from NRL fans.

The pursuit of the former dual international was discussed at a general meeting on Wednesday night with club officials deciding they would not proceed with an official application process.

It comes just a day after the club confirmed they had inquired with the NRL about signing the 31-year-old on a two-year deal from 2021.

“While the Dragons did inquire about signing Folau, the club can confirm that such discussions have now ceased,” a statement read.

In the 24 hours since chief executive Ryan Webb confirmed the club was interested in bringing the controversial athlete back to the NRL, the Dragons were flooded with feedback from fans and members.

Ultimately it was decided his signature would not be worth any damage caused to the Dragons brand.

The ARL commission is due to meet on Thursday and Folau was to be a topic on the agenda, including what requirements he needed to meet before being cleared for a comeback.

Folau is contracted to Catalans until the end of 2021.

The Super League club was stunned to learn their star centre was considering a return to the NRL this season.

Coach Steve McNamara said he has been in constant dialogue with Folau while he has been in Australia over the summer dealing with a family matter.

However, after the NRL confirmed they would consider any official application to register Folau the door remains open for him to return with another club.



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