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“It’s certainly not what I believed in” – Sam Tomkins opens up on relationship with Israel Folau

The Israel Folau saga is finally over, with the cross-code star staying in his native Australia to play with his brothers at Gold Coast club Southport Tigers.

However, when he was brought to Super League by the Catalans Dragons last year, Folau kicked up quite a stir following his Rugby Australia sacking for homophobic comments on social media.

His arrival in the south of France prompted furore with Wigan announcing a Pride Day for when the Dragons visited later in the year.

But, for Sam Tomkins, away from all the media projection, he found Folau humble and quiet – even if he didn’t agree with the Australian’s views.

“Steve (McNamara) spoke to some of the senior players, because it had gone on behind the scenes for a while,” Tomkins said on Sky Sports’ Off the Cuff program.

“The club understood it was a touchy one and that it wouldn’t be made public too early.

“The club came to us and said this is what we think and that if we had a problem or any questions we could ask them.

“As soon as Israel came into the group he stood at the front and said “I’m sure you’ve heard of me and I’m sure you’ve got an opinion of me that the media has made public, but I want you to make your own opinion on me personally” – he was really open.

“He spoke about his faith and how big it was for him and that he believed every word of the bible.

“He was open to say that if anyone had any other questions and if they wanted to speak to him alone they could do and a few of the boys spoke to him.”

Tomkins also hailed Folau’s athleticism and command as a rugby league player.

“I just read newspaper articles and seen what he’d posted and it’s certainly not what I believed in.

“We’re in a very diverse world where not everybody shares the same views and sometimes it’s difficult to understand another person that has views so radical from yours.

“With Izzy, once he’d come into this group I had this idea that he would be a big character and that it would all be about him.

“But he wasn’t like that, he was a very quiet bloke.

“On the field he was exceptional; on the first day I was like if someone asked me to describe what a rugby league player should look like it was him.”

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. David Osborne

    July 2, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    We will never know the full effect of Folau’s hateful views will have on young LGTBQ. We can be certain it will be in the wrong direction.

    The bible says homosexuals will surely be put to death. I would never work with someone who’s faith openly supports that.view. And I’m not even famous.

    Cheers David

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