Folau signs new Catalans deal amid NRL interest

Catalans have confirmed that star centre Israel Folau has signed a one-year contract extension with the club.

The 31-year-old joined the Dragons in January after being sacked by Rugby Australia last year for controversial comments made about his religious views on same-sex marriage and homosexuality.

He initially signed a one-year deal but has now put pen to paper on a contract that will see him remain in the South of France until at least the end of 2021.

It puts to bed any speculation regarding his short-term future, with several rumours circulating in recent weeks that he was the subject of interest from both the NRL and rugby union.

“Me and my family are very excited to stay on at the club for season 2021,” Folau said. “We’re very grateful for the opportunity that Bernard Guasch and the Dragons have given me.

Folau has made three appearances for Catalans so far. Credit: News Images

“I’m looking forward to working hard and achieving great success on the field with my team mates and this great club.”

Catalans head coach Steve McNamara added: “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.”

Dragons chairman Guasch said: “His decision to stay at the club for one more season honours him. Once the media storm that followed his signing passed, and after only 3 Super League appearances, he received many requests and became a highly demanded player.

“But he feels gratitude for the club.  He shown he is a respectful player since he arrived at the club. He will be 32-years-old at the end of his new contract and we will then think about the rest of his career.”

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