Israel Folau moves a step closer to Super League debut

Israel Folau has moved a step closer to making his Super League debut after being named in Catalans Dragons' 21-man squad for the match against Castleford in Perpignan.

Israel Folau at Catalans training.

If the 30-year-old former Wallabies and NSW Waratahs star does play, it will be his first game since being sacked by Rugby Australia last May for posting homophobic comments on social media.

It is also 10 years since his last rugby league game.

Coach Steve McNamara said this week "he looks in really good shape" but being included in a 21-man squad does not guarantee he will play

Folau, who has signed a one-year contract with the French club, is a straight replacement for Brayden Wiliame - who left the club to join St George Illawarra - and will ease an early-season injury crisis among the club's outside backs.

Folau's inclusion in the squad came as no surprise to Castleford coach Daryl Powell.

"He's a good player, an outstanding player, it will be interesting to see how he fits back in," said Powell, whose side were the first to go up against another dual-code international, Sonny Bill Williams.

"It does take a bit of time to adjust back to the game when you've been out so long. Sonny Bill saw that last week, although it is different when you're playing in the outside backs."