Israel Folau Teams Up With Controversial MP Clive Palmer To Announce Rugby League Comeback
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Israel Folau looks poised to announce his rugby league comeback on Australian soil.
And how is he going to make that huge announcement to the public?
Well, with the help of controversial Queensland MP and billionaire mining magnate Clive Palmer, that's how.
BREAKING: Israel Folau formally applies to make a rugby league return in the local Gold Coast competition. He has the backing of Clive Palmer. #NRL #rugbyleague
- Travis Meyn (@travismeyn) May 20, 2021
A media release had been sent to a number of sports journalists on Thursday, announcing that a press conference would be taking place on Friday morning regarding "Israel's football future".
It's understood Clive Palmer would accompany the disgraced former Wallaby at the press conference, with the Courier Mail's Travis Meyn reporting that Folau has now formally applied to make his return in a local competition on the Gold Coast.
name a more iconic duo etc etc
- Josh Butler (@JoshButler) May 20, 2021
The 32-year-old was infamously dumped by Rugby Australia following a series of homophobic social media posts.
He then made his way over to the Super League in the UK where he was plied his trade with the Catalan Dragons for a single season.
But upon his return home to Australia, Folau was given the news that he wasn't exactly going to be welcomed back with open arms by the major sporting bodies.
And despite initial interest from the St George Dragons, the NRL were quick to shut that idea down and barred the former Queensland Maroons player from entering the competition.
So in a desperate bid to break into the NRL, it seems Folau has now lodged an application with Queensland Rugby League with the hope of getting an approval.
As for where Clive Palmer comes into the picture, well, that's where things get slightly confusing.
Despite there being no knowledge of a previous relationship between the two figures, it appears Folau has received Palmer's backing.
The United Australia Party leader, who has a tagline of "Make Australia Great", has even sent a letter to the Queensland Rugby League urging them to support an application for the cross-code star to sign with the Southport Tigers - a team that Palmer once played junior footy for and now supports.
"We have received a letter to the QRL," Queensland Rugby League chair Bruce Hatcher said.
"The process has started with the south-east region, who look after Ipswich, the Gold Coast and Toowoomba. They will go through their process.
"We haven't received anything official yet. When we do, we will have to go through due process and I would suggest it would have to be fairly detailed because we would have to do it in accordance with our rules and our procedures."
Palmer then told News Corp that Folau's second coming is: "Just what Australia needs".
The Australian Christian Lobby, a group that Folau is a part of, have also increased their calls for him to be thrown a rugby league lifeline.
Featured Image Credit: PA
Topics: Comeback, Israel Folau, Rugby Australia, Rugby Union, Rugby League, nrl, Australia, Politics