Steve McNamara called Keegan Hirst before Israel Folau’s move to Catalans was confirmed

Keegan Hirst has revealed Catalans coach Steve McNamara called him ahead of the club’s unveiling of Israel Folau.

Hirst, the only openly gay rugby league player in the game, was contacted by McNamara after the Dragons had made their move for the Australian.

Folau, who said “hell awaits” gay people in a social media post, has signed for Catalans on a one-year deal, sparking outrage across the game.

Hirst too has been vocal about his disapproval of Falou’s arrival and made that clear to McNamara.

“He said he was giving me a call out of respect, but I kind of brushed that to one side, because if that was the case, he wouldn’t have signed him,” Hirst told BBC Breakfast.

“I told him I felt there was two things going on. Either Catalans didn’t care what he said which was worrying, or they did care, but they were willing to put their values to one side for a few extra tries a year and a couple of extra league places.

“Out of seven billion people on the planet, nobody else must have been available for Catalans this season.”