Israel Folau has begun discussions to launch a return to the rugby league field.

The Daily Telegraph reports the New York franchise, which joins the British competition this season, made a pitch to Folau in a phone call recently.

The former Wallaby could be joining All Black Sonny Bill Williams in North America.

Rugby Australia and Folau announced an out-of-court settlement late last year following months of fallout stemming from Folau being sacked over his controversial social media posts, which read: "Drunks, Homosexuals, Adulterers, Liars, Fornicators, Thieves, Atheists, Idolators: Hell Awaits You. Repent! Only Jesus Saves."


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The sacked star is determined to remain in the professional athlete cycle and is reportedly eyeing up a return to league.

Folau began his career in the 13-man code in 2007 playing for the Melbourne Storm before joining the Brisbane Broncos two years later. He had a successful four-year career in the game representing Queensland in State of Origin and playing eight tests for Australia before switching to Aussie rules and then rugby.

New York's new rugby league franchise began urgent internal discussions to attract Folau to the States, the Daily Telegraph reported in December.

New York officials told the Telegraph the city would be the "perfect place for Folau to continue his career and rediscover the form that led him to representing the Kangaroos and Wallabies."

In April British clubs voted in favour of New York and Ottawa joining their domestic league structure which already includes the Toronto Wolfpack, which joined in 2017.

The Wolfpack signed All Black Williams to a reported two-year $10m deal, proving the franchises are willing to throw big money at big names.

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How the Folau saga unfolded

11 April 2019


Folau weighs in on the gender birth certificate debate in Australia, saying again homosexuals will go to hell.

This follows after Tasmania became the first Australian jurisdiction to make gender an option on birth certificates. After the announcement, Folau took to Twitter to tell people to "turn away" from their evil ways after the announcement.

A short while later, Folau warned sinners would be going to hell unless they repented with this Instagram post:

Rugby Australia later confirmed it was investigating the comments, saying in a statement the posts were "unacceptable" and "disrespectful".

12 April 2019

Wallabies sponsor Qantas join the growing chorus of outrage at Folau's posts, saying the comments "clearly don't reflect the spirit of inclusion and diversity that we support".

15 April 2019

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says he will not select Folau for the Wallabies after his "disrespectful" social media posts attacking gay people.

17 April 2019

It is revealed that Folau plans to contest any action taken by Rugby Australia and that the governing body could find itself in a precarious position, with major sponsors closely monitoring the ongoing saga.

19 April 2019

The panel for Folau's code of conduct hearing is confirmed, with John West QC the chairMAN. RA's Kate Eastman SC and Rugby Union Players' Association representative John Boultbee AM are announced as the other panellists as Folau fights to save his career.

3 May 2019

Video emerges of Folau fighting back tears while delivering a sermon at his church on Easter Sunday.

4 May 2019

Ian Roberts, the first Australian NRL player to publicly come out as gay, issues an emotional message to Folau warning that "literally kids in the suburbs are killing themselves" over remarks like Folau's.

7 May 2019

Folau is found guilty of high-level breach of Rugby Australia's code of conduct after a four-day hearing in Sydney.

8 May 2019

Folau says he's "at peace" with the verdict, according to outspoken Australian radio host and former Wallabies coach Alan Jones.

9 May 2019

Folau is dumped as brand ambassador by sportswear company ASICS over his homophobic comments.

10 May 2019

It is revealed that Folau turned down an offer of $1 million to walk away from his contract and that he refused to remove the social media posts when offered a lifeline by RA.

13 May 2019

Folau's relationship with long-time manager Isaac Moses is reportedly on the rocks, as the 30-year-old fullback "all but turned his back" on the man who has been in his corner since he was 14.

17 May 2019

Australian media report Folau will take RA to the Supreme Court if his $4 million contract is terminated.

17 May 2019

Folau's contract is terminated by RA, with chief executive Raelene Castle saying the outcome is a "painful situation for the game".

6 June 2019

Folau launches legal proceedings with the Fair Work Commission against Rugby Australia and the Waratahs. It is later reported that he is suing them for $10 million for "unfair dismissal".

27 November 2019

Folau lodges an updated statement of claim in the Federal Court, now demanding $14 million in damages from Rugby Australia, claiming he could have been captain of the Wallabies.

2 December 2019

Folau starts his legal battle against Rugby Australia with a mediation meeting at the Federal Court in Melbourne.

4 December

Folau and Rugby Australia announce that they have reached a settlement.