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Sacked rugby union star Israel Folau is returning to rugby league and will play for Tonga at next month’s Oceania Cup.
Folau had his contract terminated by Rugby Australia later writing on social media that”hell expects” homosexual people.
The Tonga National Rugby League said Folau was cleared to play by the Rugby League International Federation.
“I am so grateful to have the chance to represent God, my loved ones, my heritage and the people of Tonga,” explained Folau, a devout Christian.
Before coming up against Australia at Auckland on 2 November the 30-year-old, who has Tongan legacy, will face a touring Great Britain side in Hamilton, New Zealand, on 26 October.
Folau was among Australia’s highest-paid athletes, winning 73 caps for the national side. Before switching codes to rugby 19, he represented his nation at rugby league and played Australian rules football.
He had been sacked from the Wallabies and team New South Wales Waratahs in May after his post. Australian officials said Folau breached a players’ code of conduct.
Folau is suing the business and claims that his contract was ended due to his beliefs.
The full-back is going to be joined by his brother, John, in representing Tonga. John Folau and both rugby codes have played professionally.
“Both brothers also have enrolled to play league throughout the TNRL and therefore are eligible to play international rugby league fittings,” that the Tonga National Rugby League explained.
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