Catalan Dragons have confirmed their controversial last minute signing sacked Australian Wallabies star Israel Folau will not make his debut for the club in their season opener against Huddersfield Giants.
The dual code international who stated his career as a teenager in the NRL becoming the youngest ever to be selected for Queensland and the Kangaroo’s as attracted a lot of criticism due to his sensational fall from grace last year when the ARU sacked him for homophobic message’s on social media.
Unfortunately this as somewhat over shadowed what will be the first game for the club of another former Kangaroo and world cup winning and two time NRL grand final winning half back James Maloney who only as recently as last season starred for the New South Wales in their State of Origin series victory over Queensland.
Also looking to make his debut for the Dragons is former Wigan warrior Joel Tomkins who has once again teamed up with brother Sam at the same club.
Huddersfield have they own star half back looking to make his super league, a player who as pitted himself against Maloney many times in the past for his Canberra Raiders side, Aidan Sezer. He has also made the move to the northern hemisphere to link up once more with former Raiders favourite and now head coach of the Giants Simon Woolford.
Joining Sezer in the clubs 21 man squad and also looking to make his debut is hard running prop forward James Gavet, while new recruit Kenny Edwards will be in familiar territory having signed for the Giants from the Dragon’s over the close season.
One player who won’t be playing for the Giants is centre Jordan Turner who will sit the first game having been cited by the RFL for a dangerous tackle on Wakefield’s Alex Walker in last weeks pre season game. Also joining turner in the stands is half back Tim Holmes who is also suspended for the game after being cited for a high tackle in the warm up game against Batley.
Catalans (from): Mead, Langi, Yaha, Maloney, Drinkwater, Casty, McIlorum, Whitley, J.Tomkins, Garcia, Bousquet, Simon, Jullien, Albert, Seguier, Romano, Baitieri, Mourgue, Marguerite, Kasiano, S.Tomkins
Huddersfield (from): McGillvary, Jake Wardle, McIntosh, Gaskell, Sezer, Gavet, O'Brien, Matagi, Edwards, Joe Wardle, Lawrence, English, Wilson, Murphy, Ta'ai, Clough, Russell, L. Senior, I. Senior, Wood, Walne