Sport

Waratahs new recruit Folau sets sights on Wallabies jersey

WHEN Israel Folau first left AFL outfit the GWS Giants, he wanted to play rugby league.

That was just last month, but now he wants to be a Wallaby.

Folau was set to sign with Ricky Stuart's Parramatta before the negotiations hit a standstill and frustrated the talented young outside back.

That was due to NRL salary cap auditor Ian Schubert stepping in and taking a tough stance, not letting the 23-year-old sign for anything less than $400,000, allowing the Waratahs to swoop with a one-year offer.

At the time Folau announced his decision to quit the AFL, he said he was keeping his options open.

However, it was widely known he had been talking to Eels officials about joining their club next year.

Stuart, who only last month spoke of his delight at the highly likely prospect of signing Folau, publicly criticised Folau's motives this week for allegedly turning his back on the Parramatta club.

Folau has also been branded as a mercenary for leaving the Eels high and dry and signing for more money at the Waratahs franchise.

But the freelance footballer went back to reference his November 1 press conference after he quit the AFL, when he signed with NSW yesterday.

He reiterated that last month he did not make any guarantees he would join the 13-man code.

"I didn't promise anything. Like I said in the press conference, from the time I left the Giants all my options were open in rugby league and rugby union," he said.

Folau then went on to say he would love to go on and represent the Wallabies in the same fashion as former league-turned rugby union converts Wendell Sailor, Lote Tuqiri and Mat Rogers.

"Obviously I do, yeah. Everyone wants to represent their country," he said.

"When I met (Waratahs coach) Michael (Cheika), things felt good and felt right for me.

"When I make decisions, I do them on how I feel and what feels good for me."

Folau maintained him and his manager Isaac Moses had nothing to regret from their talks with the Eels.

"I met with Parramatta on Friday and for me there was nothing to hide," he said.

"I told them what my decision was and how I was feeling and that's how I operate. I've got nothing to hide.

"If I was entirely in it for the money, I could've stayed in AFL and played out the next two years, but I walked away from that deal.

"When I left (AFL) my first preference was to come back and play rugby league, but things didn't work out the way I would've liked."

Topics:  afl, australia, gws giants, israel folau, nsw waratahs, rugby union, salary, super rugby, wallabies




Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Hanson says the "Islamisation of Australia" must stop

One Nation's pitch to woo Ipswich voters at the federal election.

One Nation is gearing up for this year's federal election

What's on in Ipswich today

JOIN US: Capricorn Coast Mallet Sports Club members Lyn Christiansen, Fay and Vince Hagen, and Lyn Hanlon.

A guide to the best events across the region today

Premier's initiative ended the cheap talk

My Comment column with QT journalist Adam Davies

Latest deals and offers

Man allegedly reaches 182kmh

A REDBANK Plains man has been charged for dangerous driving and a number of other serious offences after allegedly reaching speeds of 182kmh on the Ipswich Motorway.

A REDBANK Plains man has been charged for dangerous driving and a number of other...

James Legan on thrilling Force win

James Legan.

Ipswich Force captain James Legan shares his excitement with David Lems after a...

Bree Farley looks ahead

Queensland Basketball League match Ipswich Force v Toowoomba. Bree Farley. Photo Inga Williams / The Queensland Times

Ipswich Force and national league player Bree Farley chats to David Lems about the...

Demand for acreage lots pushes up property prices

Property values in Cooroy have increased 25%

Property values jump in Cooroy and Peachester.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances