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Benji Marshall questions NRL's blocking of Folau - 'I see domestic violence as worse than what Israel did'

As Israel Folau sweats on his international rugby league return, Benji Marshall has questioned why the controversial star's NRL comeback has been blocked.

Dual international Folau's bid to play for Tonga in Tests against Great Britain and Australia next month is expected to be discussed by the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) on Thursday.

If given the green light, it would mark his first game since being sacked by Rugby Australia in May for breaching its code of conduct with social media posts which claimed homosexuals are going to hell.

ARLC chairman Peter Beattie has already shut the door on Folau returning to the NRL, saying back in June that the former Brisbane and Melbourne star would not be welcomed back due to his social media posts.

But NRL veteran Marshall wondered why Folau was not given another chance, claiming players had done worse in the past and been accepted back by the game.

"It doesn't faze me if he's allowed or he's not allowed to play," Marshall told Fox Sports' NRL 360.

"I definitely don't agree with the things he's said, but to me, I think we need to decide what we forgive and what we forget.

"Because, and this is my personal opinion, I see domestic violence as worse than what Israel did.

"I don't agree with that, and yet we let people who have done those actions come back into our game (in the past).

"So where do we sit now with what's right and what's wrong?"

Marshall conceded the ARLC had made great strides this year with the introduction of the no-fault stand down policy following an off season from hell.

But he still questioned the NRL's consistency over Folau's treatment after the likes of Matt Lodge were thrown lifelines.

Lodge was deregistered after a 2015 New York attack but cleared to play for Brisbane last year and is now being considered for the 2020 Broncos captaincy.

However, St George Illawarra forward James Graham claimed the Folau and Lodge cases were very different.

"The guy (Lodge) has apologised and gone through a process to get back into the game," he said.

Benji Marshall Source: Photosport


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