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Folau and Tonga

Messages
3,488
With the news of Folau signing with Catalans, the obvious question from an international point of view is will he perform well enough to break into the Tonga squad and if he can return to his best does he make them stronger?

I'd imagine if he does make the team he plays fullback with Hopoate in the centres.

Thoughts?
 

Burns

First Grade
Messages
5,528
Why would they pick someone who haven’t played in years. Why.

The International body came out and said he would be blocked didn’t they?
 

yakstorm

Bench
Messages
4,120
The IRL was able to avoid having to make a call on Israel by firstly revoking the TNRL's membership and then having Woolf come out and say they wouldn't pick a player who hasn't played League in years.

I'm not sure if the IRL can ban him or would want to deal with the potential legal ramifications, especially as Folau has shown he has no issue taking things to court.

If JT, Fifita and Woolf don't want him in the squad, he won't play for Tonga. Those 3 run the team.
 

Walter sobchak

First Grade
Messages
5,845
If he’s playing league week in week out and playing well he makes the team. Simple as that unless the shot callers in the Tongan setup say no.
 

Matua

Juniors
Messages
2,335
The IRL was able to avoid having to make a call on Israel by firstly revoking the TNRL's membership and then having Woolf come out and say they wouldn't pick a player who hasn't played League in years.

I'm not sure if the IRL can ban him or would want to deal with the potential legal ramifications, especially as Folau has shown he has no issue taking things to court.

If JT, Fifita and Woolf don't want him in the squad, he won't play for Tonga. Those 3 run the team.
They run the entire sport in Tonga.

As they're one of my hatiest teams now I'm not fussed if he makes the team - I'd like to see some Kiwi forwards smash him.
 

Springs09

Juniors
Messages
1,903
Yeah surely it would be up to Tonga? How can the IRL stop a player playing international footy when he is a current contracted league player?

It would have to be Tonga saying no, similar to the 'no dickheads' policy Australia had a few years back when they didn't pick Fifita.
 
Messages
3,488
Why would they pick someone who haven’t played in years. Why.

The International body came out and said he would be blocked didn’t they?

I did say if he returns to his best. I'm not sure if the IRL can actually dictate who Tonga pick as long as he is a registered RL player.
 
Messages
3,488
Ok, so let's assume he does return to his best and Tonga do pick him - does he make them stronger? Or is their backline good enough without him?

1. Folau
2. Fusitu'a
3. Jennings
4. Hopoate
5. Toupou
6. Lolohea
7. Hingano

If we think they are strong enough to leave him out that is a) a credit to Tonga because in his past league days he would have sleep-walked into the Tongan side on his worst day and b) another quality player that they can call on if they have depth issues in the future which is also a good thing for them.
 

adamkungl

Immortal
Messages
42,955
Good chance he'll make it if he plays good football.

Hard to see how IRL would have any standing to block him playing, other than by controlling Tonga's selections which would have far worse ramifications for the game.
 

mikail-eagle

Juniors
Messages
2,380
https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/leagu...nd-possible-clash-against-sonny-bill-williams

Tonga coach opens door for Israel Folau and possible clash against Sonny Bill Williams

Israel Folau will be considered for Tonga selection if he performs well for Catalan Dragons, according to coach Kristian Woolf.

The former Wallabies fullback, who has not played since being sacked by Rugby Australia for making homophobic comments on social media, has signed a one-year contract with the Super League club.

Folau is due to arrive in France next week, and the 30-year-old could make his debut for the Dragons against Wakefield in round two on Sunday week.
Woolf, who also coaches St Helens, says Folau is passionate about his Tongan heritage.
"Israel is a real professional and in any meetings or dealings I have had with him he has been really good," Woolf told NRL.com.
"If he is playing footy that warrants picking him in the side, he will be considered along with everyone else.

"He wouldn't get selected because of who is, he would only be selected because he is the best player."

However, Woolf also admits there will always be a reason to stay loyal to the players who have performed so well in recent years.
Tonga, who beat Australia and Great Britain last year, are scheduled to meet New Zealand and Fiji in the Oceania Cup later this year, with dates and venues yet to be confirmed for the tournament.

Woolf says Tonga are in regular discussions with Samoa over a test match between the countries, which could potentially see Folau facing off against Toronto Wolfpack's star signing Sonny Bill Williams.

"I'm not sure what Sonny's interest is in playing for Samoa but he would have a very good influence on them both internally and the team."
 

hutch

First Grade
Messages
6,810
At this stage he is nowhere near good enough to make it in front of the current players. He hasn’t played rugby league in nearly a decade and was primarily a winger when he did play. Tonga aren’t short on world class wingers!
 

Matua

Juniors
Messages
2,335
At this stage he is nowhere near good enough to make it in front of the current players. He hasn’t played rugby league in nearly a decade and was primarily a winger when he did play. Tonga aren’t short on world class wingers!
I think an in form Folau (assuming he returns in form) is a better player than his clone Daniel Tupou and better than the cabbage version of David Fusitua we saw last year. But yeah, it all depends on how he goes.
 
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