Folau tipped for Wallaby greatness

Israel Folau could be a surprise star against the Lions next summer if his switch to the Waratahs goes ahead as expected tomorrow. [more]

Folau tipped for Wallaby greatness

Israel Folau could be a surprise star against the Lions next summer if his switch to the Waratahs goes ahead as expected tomorrow.

The New South Wales franchise have called a press conference for Tuesday morning when the Australian media are convinced that the code hoping superstar will confirm his switch to rugby union.

Former league sensation Folau crossed over to Australian Rules Football in a shock move to Greater Western Sydney in 2010 but he appeared destined to return to the NRL next season, with Parramatta Eels the likely destination.

But the 23-year-old informed the Eels that he wouldn’t be joining them on Friday and now looks like linking up with Michael Cheika’s troops ahead of the new Super 15 campaign that begins in February.

And ex Wallaby boss Eddie Jones reckons Folau will be Wallaby sooner rather than later, with next summer’s Lions tour a serious possibility for the youngster ever player to represent his country in the 13-man code.

Google Ad Manager – In Article

"He'll be a good player because geez he can play the game," said Jones.

"He's got athletic ability, he can run, he can contest the ball in the air and he's still young – he's only 23.

"You run the line through the Lote Tuqiris, your Wendells (Wendell Sailor) and your Mat Rogers and they all went (across to union) five years later than he will.

"Any guy that can play league at the top level he's played is going to be successful and with the amount of ability he's got he's going to be an outstanding success.

"He'll be a Wallaby within 12 months, if not less. He's top range."

Folau certainly heads to union with plenty of pedigree, even if critics have suggested he is already a sporting mercenary too eager to follow a quick buck.

He made his NRL debut at the age of just 17 and broke Billy Slater’s league record for most tries in a debut season after notching 21 in 26 appearances.

Folau’s fine form saw him named NRL Rookie of the Year in 2007 and he went on to play in two Grand Finals, five State of Origin games and win seven caps for the Kangaroos.

He picked up the man of the match award in one of those Origin victories for Queensland, scored five tries for his country and was named the Centre of the Year at the prestigious Daily M Awards in 2008.

Regarded as one of the greatest talents to hit rugby league in the modern era, Folau moved from Melbourne to Brisbane for the 2009 season before announcing his shock switch to Aussie Rules after just a single campaign with the Broncos.

Previous story Worst Welsh loss for Cuthbert
Next story Williams backs Wales
Download