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Israel Folau during his Super League debut.

Controversial Catalans signing Israel Folau may have missed his reunion with the Roosters but a high-profile showdown with Sonny Bill Williams has officials eyeing off a bumper turnout.

Folau has only played the one game in a divisive Super League stint, but that hasn't stopped Catalans from turning their attention to their June 27 clash with Williams and the Toronto Wolfpack.

Dragons officials are exploring a venue change for the showdown given the combined pulling power of Folau and Williams in rugby-mad France.

Williams, in particular, is revered by the French sporting public after starting his rugby union career with Toulon, to the point an approach about switching his national allegiance to Les Bleus was made ahead of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Folau scores try on debut

The iconic Stade Vélodrome in Marseille (capacity 67,000) is one venue being considered to host the Catalans-Toronto fixture. It is the home to football club Olympique Marseille.

Rugby league hasn't been played at the famed French stadium in over 30 years, while Stade Mayol (capacity 18,000) in Williams' old Toulon stomping ground is also being considered as another hosting option.

Catalans' regular home ground in Perpignan holds just shy of 12,000.

The club set a new Super League attendance record for a regular-season game last year at Camp Nou in Barcelona, when 31,555 turned out to watch the Dragons host Wigan.

SBW meets the fans after his Toronto debut.
SBW meets the fans after his Toronto debut.

Folau was a notable absentee from the Dragons' opposed session with the Roosters in Barcelona on Tuesday (AEDT) as the defending NRL premiers prepare for their World Club Challenge bout with St Helens.

The former Wallaby skipped the planned hit-out with Roosters players after pulling up worse for wear from his first professional game in nine months, a 36-18 win over Castleford in which Folau scored with his first touch.

Folau crossed paths regularly with Roosters players while he was at Moore Park neighbours the Waratahs.

It was another familiar face in Tricolours' premiership-winner James Maloney who led the French outfit's physical training run against the NRL powerhouse.

Folau's rugby league return continues to court controversy, with Catalans dismissing claims that travelling fans had rainbow-coloured flags confiscated by security during his Super League debut.

Two Castleford supporters protesting Folau's signing complained that they were ordered to remove the LGBTQ pride symbols at Gilbert Brutus Stadium on Saturday.

SBW returns to rugby league

But in a club statement, Catalans said its investigation into the incident found that "one person was asked to remove a flag, because it was covering an advertising board", posing an apparent safety issue.

"We noted the complaints of certain Castleford supporters, but having reviewed the CCTV footage and numerous photos in the media, we can confirm that supporters were able to display their flags and colours throughout," the Dragons statement read.

The RFL's own investigation into the matter is still ongoing.

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