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Beattie doubles down on NRL's Folau exclusion

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Expert
5th June, 2019
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Despite a renewed plea from Israel Folau to make a return to the NRL, chairman Peter Beattie has all but slammed the door shut, saying that the NRL’s position hasn’t changed.

Folau was recently found guilty of committing a high-level breach of contract with Rugby Australia for a social media post in May, which saw his $5-million deal over four years torn up, and the former backline star banished from the sport in the country.

While it’s thought Folau might have been able to stay in the sport by moving overseas, his chances of ever representing the Wallabies again appear dashed after the three-day hearing which found him guilty.

Folau, who began his professional sporting career in the NRL before jumping to the AFL and then rugby union, reportedly made a plea to the NRL to take him back, despite Beattie previously saying it wouldn’t be allowed to happen.

The Daily Telegraph reports Folau was prepared to give the NRL complete control over any future social media posts in a bid to return to the code.

However, Beattie told The Australian that the NRL’s position was unchanged despite the supposed offer.

“Our position on Israel Folau remains the same,” Beattie said.

“We are an inclusive game with a respect for all. Israel has social media posts online that go against what our game stands for. As it stands, he will not be considered for registration.

“What Israel chooses to do in relation to his social media posts and his faith is a matter for him.”

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Folau last played in the NRL during the 2010 season, when he finished up a stint with the Brisbane Broncos, after starting his career at the Melbourne Storm.