Brisbane Broncos inquire about Israel Folau's return to the NRL
Brisbane have made a subtle but high-level enquiry with the NRL about whether the governing body would allow the Broncos to sign controversial cross-code star Israel Folau.
In the week where Folau walked away with about $A2.5million after he and Rugby Australia settled an unlawful dismissal case, the Broncos wanted to know where the NRL stood on Folau.
The approach has been confirmed by a prominent official at league headquarters, but you can expect denials from both head office and the Broncos, Danny Weidler wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Rugby Australia has confirmed that it is aware of NRL clubs showing interest in Folau. Privately, RA officials are stunned, given all of the issues they've had since Folau's social media posts last year and then again earlier this year that homosexuals, among a host of others, were destined for hell.
Folau promised rugby's bosses that he would toe the line when he re-signed, but that did not eventuate.
The NRL is expecting clubs to make approaches about Folau, despite consistent statements from former Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter Beattie and new chairman Peter V'landys that Folau and his anti-gay, non-inclusive attitudes are not welcome in the game. They have been very strong in their stance.
But you can be sure that they will have to be guided by lawyers and follow a precise course of action should a formal request to register a deal be made, Weidler wrote.
The interest – however embryonic or informal – shows how far the Broncos have fallen since the departure of Wayne Bennett. They are looking for definition as an organisation and are fortunate they have some of the best young talent at their disposal because their decision-making when it comes to big football matters is questionable, Weidler commented.