RLIF set to block Folau’s Tonga move

The RLIF could be set to end Israel Folau’s move back to rugby league before it’s even begun.

It was revealed this morning that the disgraced dual-code international was set to return to the 13-man game with Tonga, and was in line to compete in their test matches with Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia this Autumn.

Now, however, the Rugby League International Federation have released a statement saying that, despite reports, Folau is yet to be ‘approved’ by them.

The statement reads: “The RLIF is aware of a media release issued by Tonga National Rugby League stating that Israel Folau has been ‘approved’ by the RLIF to represent Tonga in international matches.

“That statement is incorrect, the RLIF has not been formally asked to consider this matter.”

Further reports in Australia also claim that there will be a strong push by the RLIF board to reject Folau’s application, should an official one be filed.

RLIF deputy chairman Peter Beattie is set to lead the push to block Folau’s move.

Leading that push will be Australian Rugby League Commission chairman and RLIF deputy chairman Peter Beattie, who previously stated that Folau was not welcome in the NRL following his sacking by Rugby Australia for homophobia.

“Our position on Israel Folau remains the same, said Beattie in June this year.

“We are an inclusive game with respect for all. Israel has social media posts online that go against what our game stands for.

“As it stands, he will not be considered for registration. What Israel chooses to do in relation to his social media posts and his faith is a matter for him.”

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