Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Drew Mitchell and Paul Gallen have parted ways over possible Dragons move

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Israel Folau’s possible return to the NRL continues to divide the sports community, with two former Australian representatives divided over the future of the doubles international.

Former Wallaby Drew Mitchell says Folau should not be welcome in the NRL, urging the game to “do better”, while league legend Paul Gallen believes he should be allowed to play, but wonders if it can adapt to modern play.

St George Illawarra in talks with the NRL to bring Folau back to the game, after being dumped by Rugby Australia following a series of controversial social media posts.

Mitchell, who previously accused Folau of being greedy, when the 73-Test veteran launched a crowdfunding campaign to fight his ax by Rugby Australia, said the NRL must be tough.

“It’s obviously tricky, it’s a divisive factor,” he told Today since the launch of Stan Sports Rugby.

“I think the NRL needs to be clearer in its position on these moral issues.

“Too often players get easy respite and a second chance given to them, which I think gets so many players involved in off-court incidents.”

Mitchell said that Folau’s possible return will once again be a distraction from the good things happening in the game.

“There are so many players who play in the NRL who do good, and do wonderful things outside of the game, but are painted with the same brush as some of these players who get involved in certain things outside of the game. field, which we’re talking about, those things that we just don’t want to talk about, ”he explained.

“I think the NRL has to do better to be stronger in their position and to make sure what they represent, and who they want to play their game and represent them, as well as the fans, whom they admire.

“If I was a club owner I wouldn’t let him play for my team.”

Mitchell’s point of view is at odds with that of first-post-winner captain Paul Gallen who is ready for Folau to return to the game.

“If the NRL did not let him come back, it would go against its policy of inclusion, so I have no problem with Israel returning,” he told Ben Fordham of 2 GB.

“I think there has to be some strict guidelines in the contract about what it can and can’t do, especially when it comes to social media, but I just think the NRL is about inclusiveness, though. she keeps him from coming back, she goes against what they themselves say. “

Gallen noted that NRL players are held to a higher standard than the community at large, which means he has to keep his controversial views to himself.

But as Gallen says Folau should be allowed to return, he wonders if the 31-year-old, who hasn’t played in the NRL since 2010, could adapt to modern play.

“My biggest question, if I’m a Dragons fan, is Israel Folau the player we want?” He asked.

“I have nothing against Israel, I played a number of test matches with him during the day, but he hasn’t played in the NRL for at least 10 years.

“The NRL has totally changed over the last ten years, if you’re a fan of the Dragons how much money are they going to spend on Israel Folau. He’s a and if. Will that be the old Israel Folau that we’re talking about remember 2008 or 2009 “It was a long, long time ago. The game has changed a hell of a lot of that in the last 10 seasons.

“Can he still handle the NRL for the payroll package he’s going to demand? That’s a huge question.”

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