Israel Folau: Catalans Dragons explain return delay as reports hint at union return

Israel Folau
Israel Folau scored five tries in 15 games for Catalans in his first season in Perpignan

Catalans Dragons have said a "family situation" and Covid-19 restrictions are the reasons behind Israel Folau's delayed return to France.

There have been reports the dual-code Australia back has been seeking a rugby union comeback.

Folau, 31, returned to his native country after completing the 2020 season, having signed an extension to remain in Super League for 2021.

"We're constantly speaking," said head coach Steve McNamara.

"He's got a family situation and we're working together on that."

Folau scored five tries in 15 games as the Dragons reached the play-offs, before eventual champions St Helens ended their progress in the semi-finals.

McNamara's players are yet to return to training because of strict Covid-19 restrictions in France.

The former Queensland State of Origin player was a controversial signing for the Dragons last season, in relation to his opinions on sexuality and other topics.

He had previously been sacked by Rugby Australia - the rugby union body - for posting "hell awaits" gay people on social media.

The player and the organisation later reached a settlement after he argued he was a victim of religious discrimination.

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