NRL 2021: Rugby league great Brad Fittler backs Israel Folau's return

  • 03/02/2021

NSW State of Origin coach Brad Fittler has cast his vote of support for Israel Folau's return to rugby league.

The former Wallabies star has been a hot topic of discussion, after it was revealed that the St George Illawarra Dragons have applied to the NRL to sign the controversial ex-Kangaroos back on a two-year deal.

In 2019, Folau's contrct was terminated by Rugby Australia due to anti-gay comments he made via social media. 

At the time, Australia Rugby league Commission chairman Peter V'Landys was adamant that the door back to the NRL would remain shut for Folau.

On Wednesday, Fittler - considered one of the sport's all-time greats - admitted he's eager to see Folau's talents back on display on a rugby league field.

"I like watching Israel Folau play footy, but I don't necessarily listen to anything he says because I don't have social media, so I'm not over any of that," he says.

"It's going to be up to the game to decide whether he can play, but I hope he can because I like watching him play."

Last year, Folau joined the UK Super League's Catalans Dragons but only played a handful of games, before returning to Sydney for the birth of he and wife Maria Folau's first child.

While it was only a glimpse, Fittler believes he's seen enough to know the former Melbourne Storm and Brisbane Broncos standout still has the kind of ability that would see him quickly back among the game's elite, should he get the green light to return.

"I saw a couple of times he played and he looks as good as ever so I think he'll make an impact straight away," he notes.

Fittler joked that Folau - who starred for Queensland in two State of Origin series - could potentially switch his allegiance to play for his Blues.

"Since he's been away, can he change? They seem to do that a bit."