Catalans Dragons throw caution to the wind by signing Israel Folau


Catalans Dragons throw caution to the wind by signing Israel Folau


The Catalans Dragons did what many teams secretly wanted to do by signing out of favour Australian rugby player Israel Folau, a decision that could as easily backfire as it could pay off. Indeed, this is a developing story to watch as the former rugby union man who can play as a centre or on the wing, has arrived in France showing very little remorse.

In fact, Folau touched down at the Perpignan-Rivesaltes Airport having just received a massive multi-million dollar payout from Rugby Australia after the custodians of Australian rugby asked to settle out of court. In Folau’s mind, he probably feels quite vindicated at how things turned out and it remains to be seen whether he will be able to restrain himself if asked about his own personal beliefs.

 

 

 

The Catalans Dragons have inserted a clause into his contract that gives them the right to terminate it should he go on the verbal offensive again. That gives you the idea that the Catalans Dragons hierarchy and Folau’s representatives have indeed sat across a table and spoken about his responsibilities as a professional rugby league player.

Could this then indicate that the matter is closed for now and that the 30-year-old is happy to put these controversial matters to bed to focus on his rugby career again? Possibly, but it isn’t that straightforward and unfortunately for Folau, even if he is keen to move on, a lot of people aren’t - namely his new teammates.

Word is that a few of the Catalans Dragons players aren’t overly impressed with the decision to bring Folau into the mix and that could cause problems for the team’s hopes this season in the league. Any hopes of winning a Grand Final to start with could be a stretch with the team at outside odds of 12/1 in rugby league betting and with a fractured changing room, well, you can triple those odds.

Then again, if any sort of grumbling in the changing room turns out to be nothing more than hearsay and the squad are keen to work with Folau, then those odds of 12/1 can be slashed in half. If we were to momentarily put Folau’s outlandish comments to one side and focus on his rugby prowess it does become easy to see why the Catalans Dragons signed him. To be brutally honest, he is arguably the best signing to be made by a rugby league team in a very, very long time.

 

 

There is a reason why Folau is considered the very best rugby player in Australia and it has to do with his blistering pace and dancing feet. You could go even further and say that Folau was among the top three players in the Southern Hemisphere, possibly even the best.

The Catalans Dragons have thrown caution to the wind by acquiring the Australian’s services but it was always going to happen, Folau is just too talented to sit on the scrapheap until his retirement and sooner or later a club was going to ignore popular opinion and sign him. Now that is has happened, what happens next? That really is anybody's guess.