Rugby star Israel Folau looks set to rescue his sports career – just months after posting on social media about homosexuals going to Hell.
The player, who has previously represented Australia at rugby league and Australian rules football, will again play international rugby. Tonga today announced it was selecting him to play for its national team. Folau has Tongan heritage.
Folau was previously sacked by Rugby Australia after his controversial comments posted earlier this year. The organization said he’d breached its players’ code of conduct.
The 30-year-old, a devout Christian, has always maintained that his right to religious freedom is being curtailed. He is currently suing Rugby Australia over his sacking. His dismissal resulted in him not taking part in the current Rugby World Cup taking place in Japan and significant loss of earnings.
Tongan National Rugby League chairman George Koloamatangi today released a statement saying the national team was picking up Folau and his younger brother, John Folau, 24, to play in the Oceania Cup in New Zealand next month.
The team says Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) has cleared both players to play for Tonga.
The Tongan side will play against Britain on October, 26, and against Australia on November, 2.
In response, Folau issued a statement saying, “I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to represent God, my family, my heritage and the people of Tonga.”