St Helens chairman Eamonn McManus is the latest in the sport to speak out against the signing of Israel Folau.

McManus joins a long line of observers, include openly-gay former Super League stars Gareth Thomas and Keegan Hirst, to pass comment on the decision to register Folau as a Catalans player.

He said: “Rugby League has rightly prided itself as a professional and socially enlightened sport, with equality and understanding at its heart, throughout its 135 year history.

“In more recent years our sport has set a shining example to all other sports throughout the world, as being at the vanguard of diversity and inclusion.

Article continues below the advert

“This has had hugely beneficial effects at every level throughout our sport and into wider society.

“St.Helens R.F.C, through the work of our Community Foundation, Women’s team and wider club, are and always will be a leader in this movement.

“We are totally committed to supporting our LGBTQ+ community including our players and fans and believe that everyone should be treated equally and fairly.

“In alliance with all other clubs that I have spoken to across the game, we believe Israel Folau’s public comments are totally contrary to the essential core values of our club and sport which we have worked so hard to establish, and we sympathise with the many people associated with our game who are hurt and angered by his signing.”