Picture of the day – June 29

Back in 2013, Israel Folau was just another prospective rugby union superstar and the British and Irish Lions swiftly realised they had to stoop to any means necessary to stop him.

George North’s fireman’s lift on the powerful winger midway through the second Test emphasised just how tough it was to combat Folau, who was fresh from a glorious international bow.

Despite having only switched rugby codes five months previously, Folau had made a staggering impression on his debut in the first Test one week earlier, as he ran in two tries against his shell-shocked opponents, showing glimpses of the stardom that was to follow.

But the devoutly religious Folau’s rugby union career suffered a potentially terminal blow in April 2019 when his contract was terminated by Rugby Australia following an allegedly homophobic tweet.

Instead of starring in the World Cup in Japan, Folau embroiled himself in a legal battle and switched back to rugby league, for whom he made his Super League debut for Catalans Dragons in February.

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