ISRAEL Folau elected not to 'take the knee' in support of Black Lives Matter prior to his team Catalans Dragons' Super League clash against St Helens.

The 31-year-old Australian was the only one of the 26 players on the field moments before kick off not to pay respects to the cause.

Warrington Guardian:

Kevin Naiqama and his Saints teammates take a knee for Black Lives Matter prior to their match against Catalans. Picture:

Catalans coach Steve McNamara commented on Folau's decision not to take a knee.

While Super League chief executive Robert Elstone, referee Ben Thaler and the bulk of the players chose to back the Black Lives Matter protest, controversial dual-code international Folau remained on his feet, an action described by McNamara as "a personal choice".

McNamara said at the post-match news conference: "As a group of players and coaching staff, we spoke about it in depth and as a club we are completely against racism and all for equal opportunity.

"But there were some players and staff who made the decision not to take the knee. That was based on personal choice, they have their own reasons for doing that, and we decided we would respect anyone's personal choice on the matter."

Folau was sacked by Australia Rugby Union over homophobic comments and his arrival in Super League was initially greeted with protests but he won over fans in the south of France for his displays on the field and recently signed a new contract with the Super League club.

Folau was unable to make his mark on the game as the Catalans lost 34-6 to the reigning champions.