Israel Folau and Sonny Bill Williams.
Israel Folau and Sonny Bill Williams.

Folau and SBW set for blockbuster rematch

IT'S Israel Folau v Sonny Bill Williams.

Two of the biggest names in rugby union over the past decade are set to face off for the first time in two years, this time back on a rugby league field.

It's been 13 years since Izzy and SBW clashed in the 13-man code, but a rematch is on after Folau on Wednesday announced he had signed a one-year deal with Catalans Dragons, as he attempts to restart his stalled professional career.

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In bizarre circumstances, Folau and Williams will play each other in the English Super League competition, representing teams from France and Canada respectively.

Folau's Dragons are due to host Williams' Toronto Wolfpack on April 12 in a round 10 clash in Perpignan.

While the pair have clashed repeatedly over the last decade - both in Wallabies-All Blacks clashes and at Super Rugby level - they have only played twice in rugby league.

Sonny Bill Williams with the Bulldogs in 2007.
Sonny Bill Williams with the Bulldogs in 2007.

Both of those matches came in 2007 when Folau's Melbourne Storm got the better of Williams' Canterbury Bulldogs.

The Storm beat the Bulldogs 38-14 in round nine and repeated the dose in round 24 with a 36-6 thrashing.

Folau scored four tries in those two games, including a hat-trick in round 24.

But in rugby it was Williams who took the honours. He won two Super Rugby titles with the Chiefs, compared to Folau's single championship in 2014 with the Waratahs.

Map of Europe showing where Folau and SBW will clash in Perpignan, France.
Map of Europe showing where Folau and SBW will clash in Perpignan, France.

While SBW was a mainstay in the All Blacks team that has reigned supreme internationally over the Wallabies, denying Folau and Australia any Bledisloe Cup glory and also winning two World Cups.

Folau is the latest in a line of former NRL players to link up with Catalans.

Multiple premiership winner James Maloney has joined the French outfit for 2020 from Penrith, alongside the likes of David Mead, Samisoni Langi, Josh Drinkwater, Sam Moa, Sam Kasiano and Sam Tomkins.

Israel Folau goes over for a try against Sonny Bill Williams’ Bulldogs.
Israel Folau goes over for a try against Sonny Bill Williams’ Bulldogs.

The arrival of Folau will likely cost Mead, the former Gold Coast Titan flyer, his fullback spot.

Williams' Wolfpack includes former NRL players Darcy Lussick, Chase Stanley, Ricky Leutele, Josh McCrone and Bodene Thompson.



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