James Maloney on Israel Folau and Coronavirus

James Maloney has lauded the impact of Israel Folau in the Catalans Dragons camp.

Folau joined the French outfit under a cloud of controversy, at the start of the season, after homophobic comments related to his religious views.

But Maloney, a fellow former Australia international and Melbourne Storm teammate for the 2009 season, has spoken of the positive impact Folau has had.

In an interview with Fox Sports, he said: “He’s been really good. It caused a bit of a stir. Over here in France, you can’t watch the news or read the newspaper because you can’t understand it.

“It’s a lot more low key, in terms of your profile. The Izzy things blew up for a few days but everyone got past it. He’s a tremendous player and it’s nice to have someone like that outside you.”

With both Super League and NRL on lockdown, the 36-year-old spoke of the trials and tribulations of self-isolation, and highlighted the financial impact players will have to face.

“We’re lucky, we’ve got a house with a back yard. A few of our boys are in apartments, so they’re bouncing off walls and going mad,” Maloney added.

“It’s something you’ve never really experienced before, but if everyone follows the rules we can knock it on the head. We’re on day 10 of 15 days of lockdown, at the minute, but there’s talk of it getting extended.

“It’s hard. It’s new for everyone. When they talk about finances, pretty much everyone in the world is going to take a hit. The fact we’re football players doesn’t make us immune.”