Catalans release Folau from contract

CATALANS have released Israel Folau from his contract with immediate effect.

The controversial dual-code Australia international was signed ahead of last season, when he scored five tries in 15 appearances, and penned an extension to his deal to cover this year.

Catalans gave the 32-year-old centre permission to miss the start of the season in order to attend to pressing family matters in Australia.

Last month, he announced his intention to join Queensland-based side Southport Tigers.

Folau then threatened legal action against the Queensland Rugby League after they refused to ratify his registration because he was still contracted to Catalans.

The French club have now come to a settlement with the former Melbourne, Brisbane and Queensland player.

Folau, whose brothers play for Southport, was sacked by union’s Rugby Australia in 2019 for making homophobic comments.

He was thrown a lifeline by Catalans despite opposition from fellow Super League clubs and the governing body.

Catalans chairman Bernard Guasch said: “Israel has been great with us in 2020 both on and off the field and we wanted to facilitate the negotiations to reach an agreement.

“He told us his desire to play alongside his two brothers and we didn’t want to prevent him. We wish him all the best in the next chapter of his career.”