Israel Folau signs with Japanese rugby club

After sparking a media circus and launching Supreme Court action in a bid to play in the Gold Coast rugby league comp, former Wallabies star Israel Folau’s time in the local league is set to be very short-lived.

Just days after finally being registered by the QRL to play for the Southport Tigers, Folau will abandon Australia to play rugby in Japan.

He has signed a contract with NTT Communications Shining Arcs in the Japanese Top League.


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Folau will link up with sacked Waratahs coach Rob Penney who has been hired as the club’s Director of Rugby.

Despite not yet playing for the Southport Tigers, it’s understood Folau will play out the rest of this season before heading to Japan.

Billionaire businessman Clive Palmer was backing Folau’s bid to play for Southport and was believed to be bankrolling part of his contract.

At a highly orchestrated media conference in May, Palmer described Folau as “undoubtedly the world’s number one rugby player” and claimed he had been unfairly punished for his religious beliefs.