Folau wouldn’t have got contract in any other sport… it’s sad Super League’s taken him on – Jamie Peacock

Israel Folau is set to make his Super League debut today and there will be plenty of attention on him following his homophobic social media posts.

For me, Israel’s views are out of date and just plain wrong, and I don’t think they come down to religion.

The fact that he’s never, to my knowledge, apologised for his opinions and has stood by them is the worst thing.

He wouldn’t have got a contract in sport anywhere else so it’s disappointing that a club in Super League has chosen to take him on.

As a player I believe you have a moral obligation to be a role model within society.

As sports people we have to live up to that so why shouldn’t the club also have to abide by those standards? Catalans appear to have gone with a win-at-all-costs mentality and it remains to be seen how that works out for them.

Israel Folau training with Catalans Dragons ahead of his debut against Castleford on Saturday

Having lost their opening game at home to Huddersfield they’re already under some pressure ahead of today’s match with Castleford, who are two from two.

I remember as player that if you don’t get a win in those first few rounds it quickly becomes a goldfish bowl where you’re looking at must-win matches early in the season.

Cas have had a great start themselves and under Daryl Powell will always be a well-coached, consistent team.

What would be great for them as a club is if Daryl was able to bring a couple of marquee players in because then you might see them being genuine challengers.

Ratu Naulago, pictured catching the ball, has been an outstanding signing for Hull FC

One club whose recruitment has been the best in the country for me is Hull FC, and they face St Helens in the match of the round tomorrow.

Hull coach Lee Radford has the best eye for talent in the competition – look at outstanding winger Ratu Naulago, who was playing in the Army and has come from nowhere.

Both teams will be desperate to win – Hull to beat the best team from last year and show that they are serious contenders for silverware, and Saints because they need a big performance ahead of the World Club Challenge after being nilled at Warrington.

It should be a great clash between two motivated teams.

Warrington travel to face Wakefield on Sunday

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Also on Sunday, Warrington travel to Wakefield – and I always feel that fixture is a test of any team’s title credentials.

If you can go to Wakefield on a Sunday afternoon and get a win then you’ve every chance of being a top two or three team.

Trinity will know they need to win their home matches to steer clear of another relegation scrap so I’m expecting a close contest.


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