Joe Marler's sparring partner Israel Folau confirms international return after call-up - Ruck

Joe Marler’s sparring partner Israel Folau confirms international return after call-up

Former Wallaby Israel Folau has been named in Tonga’s squad ahead of the Pacific Nations Cup and World Cup qualifying.

The 33-year-old, a fundamentalist Christian, won 73 caps for Australia but had his contract terminated in 2019 after posting a homophobic tweet.

World Rugby changed its rules last year to let players switch country once.

Tonga have picked Folau – a centre and winger – for the Pacific Nations Cup and a World Cup play-off in July.

Former All Blacks Charles Piutau and Malakai Fekitoa have also been named in the squad.

Joe Marler reveals the three rugby stars he can’t stand

#1. Israel Folau

The loose-head prop takes any chance he can to call out the former Wallabies fullback, who could soon represent Tonga, for his homophobic views.

In a series of tweets sent directly to Folau, Marler attached pictures and GIFs of men kissing, in a display of defiant humour which was praised by fellow players and LGBTQ fans alike.

Marler later named Folau in his dream team in a tongue-in-cheek fashion.

On selecting Folau as his fullback, Marler commented, “On the night out, after we had played our match on the Saturday, I’d take him out in Brighton to The Blue Oyster… a couple of clubs.”

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