Catalans Dragons coach Steve McNamara is praying for a swift arrival from Israel Folau to boost his squad after the 32-12 defeat to Huddersfield in the first round of Super League 2020.

The Dragons are keeping their new recruit under wraps, fearful of adding flames to the media frenzy caused by his recruitment. Folau was sacked by Rugby Australia last year for making homophobic comments.

Folau joins Catalans; Wigan to host ‘Pride Day’‘Folau signing shocking and disappointing’

The Dragons’ defence out wide was at fault for several tries by Huddersfield and McNamara believes the controversial former dual code Australia international will plug some gaps.

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Former Ireland international Brian Carney has criticised Catalans Dragons for signing Israel Folau while distancing themselves from the player’s views on homosexuality

Former Ireland international Brian Carney has criticised Catalans Dragons for signing Israel Folau while distancing themselves from the player’s views on homosexuality

He said: “We’ve made the signing, we’ve made the statement, there will be further stuff to follow – but not right now.

“Another outside back is going to be good for us, we’re down right there at the moment with Lewis Tierney out and Tom Davies. Brayden Wiliame has left, so we’re a little bit short in those areas and it would be nice to have an extra body on board.”

Catalans are staying tight-lipped over whether Folau has arrived in the south of France but rumours were circulating around Stade Gilbert Brutus that the 30-year-old centre is in town.

Steve McNamara is relishing what Folau will bring to the Dragons Steve McNamara is relishing what Folau will bring to the Dragons Steve McNamara is relishing what Folau will bring to the Dragons

McNamara’s opposite number, Giants coach Simon Woolford, believes Folau will be a hit in Super League.

He said, “Catalans made a decision to sign Israel, they haven’t broken any rules in signing him.