Wigan Warriors Declare Match With Catalan Will Be Pride Day After Dragons Sign Israel Folau
Israel Folau had a pretty tumultuous 2019 and he was probably hoping this year would be much less of a roller coaster ride.
But 2020 has started off well for the former Wallaby, particularly as he landed a contract with French rugby league team the Catalan Dragons.
But before the celebrations could get into full flight, the roller coaster had already begun.
:flag_white:️:rainbow: @WiganWarriorsRL can confirm that their round six game against @DragonsOfficiel on Sunday 22nd March will now be Pride Day, as the Warriors look support the LGBTQ+ community.
Learn more :point_down:https://t.co/nvxK1VHHq1
- Wigan Warriors :cherries::white_circle: (@WiganWarriorsRL) January 28, 2020
The team will take on UK league team Wigan Warriors in March, and someone at the English side thought they'd use their home ground advantage by declaring the match will fall on the club's Pride Day.
According to The Daily Mail, the decision to turn the game into a day of supporting the LGBTQIA+ community was made just 19 minutes after the Dragons announced the Folau signing.
The Warriors will wear rainbow socks and laces to mark the occasion.
The club's executive director, Kris Radlinski, said: "Here at Wigan Warriors we are committed to the core values of Inclusion and Respect.
"Our community foundation have a long history of supporting local LGBTQ+ groups and initiatives, and we want everyone who engages with our game to feel welcome, valued and most of all, respected.
"Rugby League has a strong history of inclusion, of breaking down barriers and of being a forward-thinking sport.
"I think that today, more than any day, it is vitally important we reiterate that message. We're looking forward to working with charities, local and hopefully national groups, to make this day a success."
Folau was sacked from the Wallabies last year for uploading a Instagram post which was widely condemned as 'homophobic', where he said homosexuals would burn in hell, along with fornicators, drunks, liars and a bunch of other sinners.
He was then locked in a bitter legal battle with Rugby Australia, which saw him seeking millions of dollars in damages. The two parties eventually settled before it could reach a court date.
After much speculation, Folau has now found a home in France.
Dragons chairman Bernard Guasch said: "We want to give Israel a new opportunity to shine on the pitch."
Featured Image Credit: PA