The controversial Rugby League star who has helped spark a Catalan Dragons revival


The Super League is a fantastic competition that brings the best Rugby League players in England together and there have been many memorable moments over the years.

Given the high standard of the league and the passion of the fans, it’s regularly produced quality players who have gone on to shine at an elite level. However, the league has also has the capacity of attracting some of the biggest names outside of the UK.

And, one player who is currently shining in the Super League is the controversial Israel Folau.

Controversial but still a force

To say the Australian divides opinion wouldn’t really be right. That’s because most people aren’t happy at all that the 31-year-old is involved in the game due to those social media posts that saw him sacked by Rugby Australia.

They claimed his messages represented a ‘high-level breach’ of the player’s code and that seemed to spell the end of Folau’s career.

Nevertheless, the Dragons were prepared to take a chance on the former Waratahs man, so he switched codes for the first time in a decade to sign a short-term deal with the club. And, from a purely sporting perspective, it’s a decision that has paid off spectacularly.

A quick glance at the latest rugby league betting odds will show that. Having endured a miserable few years, the only non-English side in the league now have a chance of winning the Super League Grand Final. Whilst they are 13/2 fourth-favourites, to even see Catalan Dragons in that position is unchartered territory.

Obviously, it would be completely unfair on the rest of his teammates to suggest this is down to one man, especially when you have Sam Tomkins who has been superb at times this season as well.

Folau a standout talent in the league

However, Folau has managed to put all the off-field issues behind him and he has been at his unstoppable best on many occasions this season, regularly making big contributions.

Of course, this was to be expected. In terms of ability, everyone in the Super League knew they would be coming up against a ridiculous talent. After all, Folau became the most prolific try-scorer in Super Rugby history last year and many will have watched as he terrorised the likes of England, New Zealand and the Lions when playing for the Wallabies in Rugby Union.

So, the only real questions surrounding Folau were whether he would be able to focus on his game and if he had the desire to really make an impact in a new environment at 31 years old.

He has answered those quite emphatically so far and he could be in line to inspire Catalan Dragons to rare success. They still have a lot of work to do on that front and it won’t be easy as St. Helen’s and Warrington, in particular, look like formidable opposition. But, you can’t rule the Dragons out given the talent they possess.

Quite simply, if Tomkins and Folau turn up in these big upcoming games, it could be a historic and memorable year for the Catalan Dragons.