Israel Folau has opened up on being sacked by Rugby Australia, admitting he considered retiring from professional sport altogether.

The 30-year-old Australian was dumped by Rugby Australia after he gained the wrong sort of attention for making a series of homophobic social media posts.

With his career in limbo Folau was thrown a lifeline by French rugby league club Catalans Dragon in the English Super League, linking up with the club for the 2020 season.

Manchester City banned from Champions League for two seasons over FFP
Rugby League: Bizarre drama for NZ Warriors women's squad to kick off Perth Nines
Rugby League: Warriors NRL coach Stephen Kearney admits gameplan errors in 2019 season
Rugby league: Unlikely Patrick Herbert labelled amongst the strongest New Zealand Warriors


Speaking to L'independent, Folau admitted he didn't know what would be next for him after the situation with Rugby Australia played out.

"Yes of course I thought about ending my career and to do other things," Folau said.

"It's like a new start for me and I am very excited to return to the sport in which I became known."

Folau burst onto the professional sports scene in 2007, making his NRL debut for the Melbourne Storm at just 17 years old. In his first match for the club, against Wests Tigers in the season opener, he scored the winning try and went on to play every game of the season. With 21 tries to his name, he was the regular season's top try scorer and was selected to represent Australia later that year.

He stayed in the NRL for four seasons, split between the Storm and Brisbane Broncos, before leaving rugby league for a lucrative AFL deal with the Greater Western Sydney Giants.

Playing just 13 AFL games for the club, Folau joined the Waratahs in Super Rugby in 2013 and quickly became one of Australia's best backline talents.

Now back to the code his career started in, Folau admitted it wasn't a totally comfortable change of scenery.

"I haven't played 13-a-side for 10 years, so I am also pretty nervous," he said.


"But the environment is favourable, between the staff and the players, so that I can give my best.

"I am here to be competitive, to play rugby and be consistent with my performances for the team.

"It's great to come back in a new team environment and to find a training routine with the others, but the most important thing is to give the best for my team."

Catalans came under heavy fired after announcing the signing of Folau due to the nature of his dismissal from Rugby Australia.

However, coach Steve McNamara told the PA news agency that Folau deserved a second chance.

"You only see the headline, you don't know the person," McNamara said.

"Once you see this person as a man, you understand him more and realise it's not a life sentence what he did.

"We don't agree with it, absolutely. But let's get him on the field and we can talk about some other things."

Folau is set to make his Super League debut for the Dragons against Castleford at Stade Gilbert Brutus on Sunday (NZ time).