Top tips on cultivating a happy and creative workplace culture

Over the course of my leadership and work career, which spans more than 15 years, three continents, politics and businesses including Rocket Internet (The Iconic and Dalani), Bain & Co management consulting, venture capital and three of my own start-up ventures, I’ve been exposed to a wide range of workplace cultures.

At different stages, I have been a happy and an unhappy employee, as well as a great and an awful boss. So, with all of that in mind, here are some tips on how to create a happy and creative workplace culture.

1. Start with clarity

Define success upfront. Firstly, figure it out for yourself then communicate it clearly. It should be a conversation, ask your employee what they think great would look like, tell them your vision and together come up with a plan. Give them an opportunity to delight you.

2. Be generous with compliments and empathetic with areas to work on

Most of us need a ratio of many more compliments to criticisms to feel happy and valued at work. When we screw up (which let’s be real, we all do!) it’s rarely because we’re lazy or uncaring. It might be due to life outside of work, period pain, or broken technology…the reasons are vast and varied but they can impact an individual’s output. As a leader, it’s important to first assume there’s been a good reason for the mistake, then give the person a clear path to turn the situation around, with your guidance and support.

3. Cultivate creativity by starting with “yes”

This one is trickier than it sounds, especially if you’re a perfectionist like lots of us startup founders tend to be. Chances are your team will present a lot of ideas to you that you won’t love, but you need to tread carefully so as not to break the spirit of your talented employees. After much reflection, I have a few tactical tips on how to go about this.

Firstly, when someone comes to you with an idea you don’t like, consider that they might be right. Are they bringing a fresh perspective that is exactly what your business needs?

Secondly, see if you can find a way to let them implement their idea, even though you think it’s a bad idea, so they can learn the lesson themselves. Is there a way it can be done with limited negative impact? Can they test it with a subset of your audience? This way they can learn and move forward, rather than just feeling blocked and resentful.

Finally, if it’s an absolute clear no-go, be very encouraging but clear in your “no”. By clearly explaining your rationale your colleague will feel less dejected and is more likely to incorporate your feedback when presenting other ideas in the future.

4. Bring energy to your team…starting with yourself

You need to look after yourself, or as airlines say put your own oxygen mask on first. One-dimensional humans, who put all their energy and identity into one thing, are the most vulnerable to burnout. Cultivate your energy by exercising, seeing friends, indulging in your own quirks – whatever gives you energy is symbiotic with being a great boss.

Watch out for signs of burnout. These include struggling to sleep, needing to muster all your self-discipline to go to work in the morning or just becoming irritable. When this happens you need to take it seriously, take a timeout and if you’re not over it quickly, get professional help. There’s no faster way to burn out your team than being burnt out yourself.

Margot Balch, Co-founder and CEO, The One Two

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Israel High Tech Scene Week in Review Mar 20 – 26 (Happy Pesach!) – Jewish Business News

Israel High Tech Scene Week in Review Mar 20 – 26 (Happy Pesach!)

Tel Aviv at sunset, Israel

We have a short week this week because of the Passover holiday this weekend.

New Startups

Israeli Industrial Cybersecurity Company SCADAfence Protects Companies On Line (JBN)
The company just raised $12 million. SCADAfence is an Israeli startup in the field of cybersecurity for Operational Technology (OT) and Internet of Things (IoT) environments. The company just raised $12 million in funding led by existing investor JVP.

Israel’s Axis Security Provides Cybersecurity Services For The Cloud (JBN)
The company just raised another $50 million. Israel Cybersecurity startup Axis Security Inc. promises to protect your business as it does business in the cloud. Its solution is Application Access Cloud which the company says has a unique architecture that makes it simple to deploy, use, and manage while delivering more secure access. The company just raised $50 million in series C funding led by new investor Spark Capital, which had previously invested in Twitter, Tumblr, and Slack. Axis has raised $100 million to date.

Israeli Industrial Cybersecurity Company SCADAfence Protects Companies On Line (JBN)
The company just raised $12 million. SCADAfence is an Israeli startup in the field of cybersecurity for Operational Technology (OT) and Internet of Things (IoT) environments. The company just raised $12 million in funding led by existing investor JVP.

Veev Raises $100 Million to Reinvent the Way Homes are Built (Press Release)
The new financing will power Veev’s modular prefabrication approach, and bring the company’s total capital raised to nearly $200 million.

Israeli’s Morphisec Offers Cloud Security And Ransomware Defense (JBN)
Cybersecurity is more important than ever. Morphisec is an Israeli cybersecurity startup which offers in cloud-delivered endpoint and server security solution. It just raised $31 million in funding led by JVP. Other existing investors, including Orange and Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners, also participated in the funding.

Utilis Is an Israeli Startup Which Finds New Underground Sources Of Water
The company just raised $6 million. Israeli startup Utilis calls itself a pioneer of satellite-based infrastructure intelligence. It basically uses satellites to detect underground sources of water. The company has raised $6 million from Beringea, a transatlantic venture capital firm, which will be used to accelerate the growth of its data-driven analytics enabling the detection of water leaks and infrastructure asset management.

Israeli Startup StarkWare Offers Cybersecurity Solutions
The company just raised $75 million. StarkWare is an Israeli cybersecurity startup which specializes in the development of solutions for enlarging blockchain capacity. The company just completed a $75 million financing round led by Paradigm and with the participation of existing investors Sequoia and Funders Fund, DCVC, Pantera and Wing and new investors Three Arrows and Alameda Research. The company has now raised $111 to date.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Fyber N.V Ad Tech Co Bought Out For $$600 Million By Digital Turbine (JBN)
Fyber helps app developers make money. Digital Turbine, Inc. (Nasdaq: APPS), is set to acquire the German-Israeli company Fyber N.V. for $600 million: $150 million in cash, $400 million in shares and $50 million in shares depending on future revenue. Fyber offers a platform to aid app developers monetize their products and to optimize profitability through quality advertising.

Twitter Has Acquired Israeli Startup Reshuffle (JBN)
No word yet on how much it cost. Twitter has bought out Reshuffle, an Israeli startup which offers an Application Programming Interface (API) solution. API is software which serves as an intermediary in that it enables two different applications to talk to each other. The sale price for Reshuffle has not yet been disclosed.

Yum! Brands to Acquire Leading Omnichannel Ordering and Marketing Platform Company (Press Release)
Acquisition Strengthens Yum! Brands’ Global Digital Ordering Capability and Integrates New Technology Talent into Company

IPO Talk and Unicorns

Orca Security Latest Israeli Unicorn with $1.2 Billion Valuation (JBN)
The status comes after a $210 round of funding. Israeli startup Orca Security is now a unicorn. The cybersecurity company reached this milestone when it completed a $210 million Series C round of funding led by CapitalG, Alphabet’s independent growth fund, and Redpoint Ventures, which left it with a $1.2 billion valuation.

Israeli Video Startup Kaltura Now Sees $2 Billion IPO (JBN)
That’s up from $1 billion expected just a few weeks ago. Kaltura, an Israeli startup which provides live and on-demand video SaaS solutions, has upgraded its expectations for its initial public offering. The company now says that it expects a $2 billion valuation once it holds an IPO on the NASDAQ, doubling the previous estimate of just $1 billion made only a few weeks ago. Its will be listed under KLTR.

Israeli Video Startup Kaltura Now Sees $2 Billion IPO (JBN)
That’s up from $1 billion expected just a few weeks ago. Kaltura, an Israeli startup which provides live and on-demand video SaaS solutions, has upgraded its expectations for its initial public offering. The company now says that it expects a $2 billion valuation once it holds an IPO on the NASDAQ, doubling the previous estimate of just $1 billion made only a few weeks ago. Its will be listed under KLTR.

Israeli Driver Safety Startup SaverOne Looking To Expand To The NASDAQ (JBN)
The company already lists on the TASE. SaverOne is an Israeli company which offers a new system takes which can take control over a driver’s telephone and prevent the use of dangerous applications. Globes reports that the company is thinking of offering its shares for sale on the NASDAQ. The news comes less than a year after it went public on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE).

Read more about: IPO, startups

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Merlino not happy with $1.2b half-price flight scheme

The NSW government was similarly unimpressed with the federal plan and complained that Queensland was getting an unfair share of the package – especially given its record on snap border closures and “childish” behaviour over quarantine bills.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said that unlike some states, NSW has always acted in the national interest and “shouldn’t be subsiding the economies of others”.

NSW had avoided “snap border closures,” Mr Perrotet said but Queensland was now being rewarded by the federal governemnt despite not “striking the balance between protecting people and saving jobs”.

Annnouncing the package on Thursday morning Pime Minister Scott Morrison repeated his message to state governments that vaccinations had changed the threat of COVID-19 in 2021.

“For this to work best the states have to keep their borders open,” he said.

Mr Morrison’s deputy Michael McCormack went further, demanding premiers avoid “knee-jerk, hasty decisions at a moment’s notice to have snap border closures”.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and deputy Michael McCormack want a less conservative borders approach.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce whose company helped devise the federal tourism package, said the corporate business that underpinned capital cities would only fully return once premiers gave guarantees they would not suddenly close state borders in response to coronavirus outbreaks.

“We do have an issue with the conservative nature and the minimum risk taking that’s there,” he said.

Mr Joyce said all state leaders had told him that the risk of borders closing would be extremely low once phases 1a and 1b of the vaccination program, made up of seven million high-risk people including hotel quarantine workers plus aged care residents and staff, were completed.

The federal government has not set a date for each phase of the vaccination rollout, only aiming to have vaccinated the entire population by October.

James Merlino will likely be deputising in Premier Daniel Andrews’ absence for several weeks.

James Merlino will likely be deputising in Premier Daniel Andrews’ absence for several weeks.Credit:Joe Armao

The Victorian government will release its latest batch of $200 travel vouchers on Friday, which for the first time will be eligible for use in Melbourne as well as the regions.

Victorian businesses suffered as the state shut its border to New South Wales over the Christmas period and most jurisdictions closed to Victoria during last month’s five-day lockdown.


Victoria Tourism Industry Council chief executive Felicia Mariani pointed to those as evidence Australians remained “reluctant to travel and risk being at the other side of a snap border closure”.

“This federal package fails to address the key issue of consumer confidence,” she said.

Mr Merlino said discussions were ongoing at national cabinet regarding border guidelines but “we want our borders to be open”.

His scepticism on the federal tourism package was echoed by Accommodation Australia chief executive Dean Long, who said capital cities such as Melbourne, where 80 per cent of the market was from international and corporate travellers, needed more “immediate support” with hotels running at less than 10 per cent capacity.

Justin Giddings, chief executive of Avalon Airport – Victoria’s big winner from the federal announcement – told The Age that he disagreed with Mr Merlino’s logic.

“When we do catchment surveys, I’m always surprised by the number of people from Melbourne and beyond – about 55 per cent of arrivals go on to Melbourne,” he said.

“Victoria only has two main airports, Mildura could be included perhaps but none of Australia’s other capital cities have been included in the program.”

Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Paul Guerra questioned why Tasmania got the “first-class treatment” of three airports compared with Victoria’s one.

“As good as coming into Avalon is … it doesn’t help the CBD, it doesn’t help the Mornington Peninsula, it doesn’t help East Gippsland,” he said.

“We would like to see that improved and for vouchers to be available to come into Tullamarine as well.”

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Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys happy to reverse rule changes mid season if needed

“I’ve got a few reservations,” Roosters co-captain Jake Friend said. “I think the timing of the change is interesting, but as players I guess we’ll continue to go out there and put on a show. It seems what we have to do.

“I think it was there for everyone to see with the injuries [in 2020]. It was an interrupted season over the COVID break, but as players welfare has to be there.

Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans.Credit:Dominic Lorrimer

“You want your best players on the paddock and if the game is going to create more and more injuries and your best talent is on the sidelines, then I don’t know if it’s worth the change.”

Rugby League Players Association chief executive Clint Newton has raised the players’ concerns with the NRL, which it will continue to consult in coming months.

A number of players said club coaches and sports science staff had tinkered with their pre-season programs to adapt to the rules, which will go under the microscope in the Melbourne-South Sydney season opener at AAMI Park.


“I just think in terms of the game itself, it’s important we have these conversations rather than the rules being put in there and we just go out and play them,” Hodgson said.

“At the end of the day the players, people on the Commission, NRL … we all want the best product on the field and the sport to be the biggest in the country. I think it’s a general consensus when you speak to most players, they ask, ‘Did any of the senior blokes have a say in these rules or did we just get told?’ At the end of the day we’re just getting told.

“I think it can only get so quick. I understand it needs to be appealing on the TV and keep the game evolving, but it can only get so fast. I don’t think we’re too far away from as fast as it can get. I wouldn’t want to see some of the bigger blokes who are amazing football players pushed out of the game because of the speed.”

Said Cherry-Evans: “It’s getting really quick. There has been a real effort from the administrators to make it exciting for the fans, but I think we’re getting close to the limit.


“Last year there was a lot of injuries across the competition and it that happens again we need to see if there is a correlation between the game and injuries. I have enjoyed the new changes because it’s a lot different, but we have to be very mindful we don’t have another big year of injuries.”

But one of the game’s biggest players, Tigers captain James Tamou, said he understood the appeal of ratcheting the speed up another notch.

Tamou had his first taste of the rules in the joint venture’s thumping trial win over Manly with V’landys excited about the possibilities of increased scrutiny on players breaking from scrums too early.

“I like to study the game and as a fan this will be pretty good,” Tamou said. “You’re going to see more attacking prowess and attacking players come into the game. In regards to injury you’re only as prone as how you train.”

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Greg Hunt says he's happy with how Australians have practised physical distancing

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Brand Building Isn’t a Happy Accident. Take This Steps to Find Success.

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

All you need is an idea, a little grit, and an empty garage to launch a global brand. Right? That’s the story we’ve happily internalized for years. Perhaps it explains why ideas like Juicero and MoviePass not only saw the light of day but were generously funded before their spectacular demises. Or why, despite the endless void that is our current health and economic crisis, the rate of business applications in the U.S. has surged to a 13-year high, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Yes, the barriers to building a business are startlingly low, but the same doesn’t hold true for building a brand. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Brit, aren’t ‘brand’ and ‘business’ synonymous?” I don’t think so. Businesses sell you stuff; brands make you feel stuff. Businesses can be created overnight; brands must be built over time. Businesses are owned; brands are communal. True brands — the ones that get into our hearts — deliver inherent, intangible value.

Related: 9 Tips for Creating an Awesome Brand

So how do you create value beyond what you’re selling and apart from your core customers? When I pose this question to early-stage founders, they often throw around (and confuse) words such as “purpose,” “vision,” “mission,” and “values.” But these buzzwords aren’t one and the same. They are separate building blocks of your brand framework.

To begin building your own framework, follow these steps:

1. Define your why

At the top of your brand framework sits purpose, or your reason why. It’s an open invitation to the party — a reason for the public to like, subscribe, comment and share, yes, but also a reason to believe in what you bring to the world.

When consumers subscribe to your purpose, they’ll show up for you. Case in point: Research from Zeno Group found that consumers are four times more likely to purchase from brands with a strong purpose. And an Accenture analysis of Unilever’s portfolio of brands determined that its purpose-led ones (such as Dove, which aims to instill confidence in girls by helping them reject conventional beauty standards) grow 50 percent faster than its other brands and deliver more than 60 percent of Unilever’s overall growth.

Related: Why a Purpose-Driven Mission Is Key to Motivating Millennials

Remember: That “why” is the foundation you start from. And during this journey, I find it helpful to keep this Simon Sinek quote in mind: “People don’t buy what you do — they buy why you do it.” Sinek places the “why” at the center of his “Golden Circle” and then builds out to “how” and, finally, “what.” To establish that why at the center, ask yourself these questions: What are you fighting against? What are you fighting for? What are your competitive advantages that will allow you to prevail in these fights? What will be different about the world once you’ve achieved your goal?

2. Find your direction

Under purpose sits vision, which steers you where you want to go. Pangaia is a brand that’s recently caught my eye (and wallet), and it offers a great example. At first glance, it sells apparel, but with only a few scrolls, you realize that Pangaia is using materials science to save the planet.

It’s amassed an enormous following in a short time — selling us sweatpants and T-shirts. Its customers, including me, are buying something bigger than a fashion-forward sweatshirt (though that’s a nice plus). We’re spending our money with Pangaia because we believe this brand can do good in the world and we want to wear that on our sleeve — literally.

Don’t try to force a brand vision based on what’s trending at the moment. Instead, play to your strengths. What are you good at? What do you know? In what way can your skill set support your why? Pangaia, for example, is made up of creatives who’ve worked for luxury fashion and scientists with experience in biofabrication. Combining these two very different strengths brings a unique and exciting strategy to the fight against climate change.

3. Chart your course

Next up is mission. Or in other words, how you’ll accomplish your vision. Pangaia is working to save our planet by combining fashion with the science of sustainable clothing, and the company gives consumers other reasons to buy into the why of what they do. Pangaia uses collaborative philanthropy to reverse planetary harm and benefit people. In October, for example, the company created a collection of hoodies and T-shirts with beauty brand Costa Brazil to support villages in the Amazon, where the fashion industry has historically left a destructive footprint. All proceeds from the collection were used to deliver PPE and other medical supplies to remote villages and helped relocate doctors to the region to fight the novel coronavirus.

To chart your course, think about how to deploy your mission multidimensionally. From what angles can you approach the goals you set when you defined your why?

4. Walk the walk

Finally, your values are what prescribe how you behave along the journey. Does your whole company embody your why? Does your mission align with your vision?

Related: Don’t Let These 3 Threats Kill Your Startup’s Mission in Its First 5 Years

Although the answers to these questions need to be yes, consumers don’t expect infallibility, and having a strong why can secure you some grace. The Zeno Group’s research showed that consumers are six times more likely to defend and protect a purpose-led brand after a public gaffe.

But that can be pushed only so far. United Airlines has long invited passengers to fly the friendly skies. But when it had a paying passenger forcibly dragged off an overbooked plane, with the company’s CEO defending the action the next day, the public noticed. Polls after the incident found that 79% of potential travelers would choose another airline, and 40% would do so even if it meant paying more and taking longer.

Stay in the Game

Brands don’t spring forth from aha moments — nor do they happen by accident. Your business might grind away for years to build its brand identity and still be seen as a business. But when you’re intentional and committed to building your brand’s framework, you will see gains. Momentum builds, word spreads. You start to make the shift from selling to customers to recruiting advocates. And that is what will sustain you for the long haul.

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Happy Husky Bounds Through Denver Snow

Snowfall in Denver, Colorado, made a husky very happy on Thursday morning, February 25, caught on video dashing through his front yard. Brett Schklar shared video on Twitter of his dog, Thunder, in his element Thursday morning. The National Weather Service said as much as 12 inches had accumulated in parts of Denver by early morning February 25. Credit: Brett Schklar via Storyful

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‘Shooter McGavin, this is for you’: Adam Sandler crunches drive 25 years on from ‘Happy Gilmore’

Talk about a hole in one.

A quarter of a century since the release of ‘Happy Gilmore’, Adam Sandler showed he can still nail his iconic long drive – and lovable villain Shooter McGavin had something to say about it.

The 1996 film is remembered by many fans as arguably Sandler’s finest comedy, showcasing an angry and failed hockey player who tries his hand at golf.

In the movie, Gilmore’s greatest asset was his booming, run-up drive – impersonated by many an amateur golfer across the past 25 years.

Today, Sandler filmed himself giving the drive another crack. And though we don’t get to see its distance or direction, he was chuffed with the result.

“It’s been 25 years since I’ve done this… let’s see what happens. Shooter McGavin, this is for you,” he says before making sweet contact.

“And I’m not lying to you – that is smashed.

“You’re dead, Shooter.”

The film’s poster.
Camera IconThe film’s poster.

For his part, McGavin – or rather, actor Christopher McDonald – responded in kind with his own video, nailing a putt and delighting fans with some famous quotes from the film.

“Money! Shooter’s still got it,” he exclaimed.

VideoAfter ‘Happy Gilmore’ put out a video on the film’s 25-year anniversary, Shooter McGavin responded in style.

The exchange went viral on social media, with plenty suggesting it’s time for a ‘Senior Tour’ sequel.

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I wasn’t happy at Waratahs: Tom Robertson

Wallabies prop Tom Robertson concedes he was unhappy at the NSW Waratahs last year, and has described his move to the Western Force as like a breath of fresh air.

Robertson made 62 appearances for the Waratahs over five seasons before signing for the Force last September.

The 26-year-old, who played 24 Tests for Australia between 2016-18, hopes his move to the Force will help rekindle his international career.

But more importantly Robertson wants to be in a happy place – something he found hard at the Waratahs last year.

“I wasn’t that happy at the Waratahs to be honest,” Robertson said on Friday.

“I was considering staying there for another two years, but in the end the upside to the Force was too big to ignore.

“There’s a lot of off-field issues at the Waratahs. I love the players there. The player group is amazing. But just coming over here, it’s a breath of fresh air.

“Having a new coaching staff, a new performance staff, and dealing with new people has really reinvigorated my rugby, so hopefully I can keep that going.”

More than a quarter of NSW Rugby staff were made redundant in June last year when the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic hit hard.

The organisation is still struggling financially, and Robertson said the security of the Andrew Forrest-owned Force was a huge plus.

“Being privately owned by the Forrest family is a big advantage to this club, and having that financial security,” he said.

“And the other players that they had coming across, half the names are international players. It’s almost like playing in an international team at the moment with the calibre of players we have.”

Getting back into the Wallabies’ set-up is a major goal for Robertson.

But he knows it will be no easy feat in a Force outfit bristling with international and Australian talent.

Veteran Wallabies centre Tevita Kuridrani has joined Robertson at the Force, along with Argentinian internationals Tomas Cubelli, Tomas Lezana, Santiago Medrano and Domingo Miotti.

Legendary Irish fullback Rob Kearney has been the Force’s biggest recruit, while former All Blacks Richard Kahui and Jeremy Thrush have re-signed from last season.

“I think the depth we’ve got here, it’s a bit nerve wracking,” Robertson said.

“I’ve got to get into the team here before you start talking about the Wallabies jersey.”

Robertson described Tim Sampson as “tough but fair”, saying the Force coach was willing to take things on board.

“He’s very approachable, Robertson said.

“If a lot of the senior players have ideas, he takes that on board and incorporates that in his game plan.”

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Catalans happy to welcome back Folau if NRL dream fails

Catalans coach Steve McNamara said he had spoken with Folau this week and told The Sun-Herald the dual international was always welcome back if his family situation improved and the NRL slammed the door shut on a comeback.

It has since become well known Folau’s mother-in-law fell ill before Christmas and being on the other side of the world during the COVID pandemic had placed extra pressure on his young family.

Catalans are happy to welcome the return of Israel Folau should he not find an NRL club.Credit:Getty

“One hundred per cent Izzy is always welcome to come back here,” McNamara said. “He still has a contract here. Given the severity of his family situation, we understand it might not be possible for him to come back. But we’ve been in constant dialogue with him – I spoke to him two days ago – so we’ll see.

“We’ll give him the time he needs. We’re not in as big rush at the moment.“”

Folau informed his teammates via WhatsApp he was not returning to France for family reasons and he remains on good terms with the players.

James Maloney revealed this week Folau still had what it takes to compete in the NRL, particularly when it comes to being an aerial threat. Maloney even suggested the backlash would impact on his market value, which would make him an even more attractive proposition for NRL clubs.

Catalans are set to officially announce the signing of Penrith centre Dean Whare, but his deal was brokered long before Folau returned home.

There had been reports Folau was keen to play rugby union in France or Japan, but those in his camp are maintaining he is only interested in playing in the NRL.

The three Queensland NRL clubs showed no initial interest in signing Folau, but time will tell if one of them has a change of heart. Folau spent time with the Broncos before he switched to the AFL and newcomers Greater Western Sydney in 2011.

Catalans boss Bernard Guasch confirmed this week his club would seek a transfer fee, believed to be about $200,000, if Folau did land a deal elsewhere in the coming months.


Folau is desperate to finish his career in the NRL, but clubs have publicly claimed they have no interest in signing him.

Even trying to sneak back into the NRL via reserve grade could pose a problem with NSW Rugby League boss Dave Trodden saying: “When it comes to registrations that are contentious because a player has been deregistered or otherwise, our policy has always been to consult with the NRL prior to registering a contact. If the NRL raises any objections, we’ll always respect their view.”

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