Fiji Time: 6:24 AM on Friday 19 December

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

Frustrated Folau: I couldn't wait any longer

Aap
Wednesday, December 05, 2012

SYDNEY - Frustrated by protracted negotiations with NRL club Parramatta, Israel Folau signed to make rugby union his third pro football code after feeling he had to settle his future and being impressed by new NSW Waratahs coach Michael Cheika.

Announcing his one-year deal to play Super Rugby with the Waratahs yesterday, Folau said he'd made no promises to Parramatta coach Ricky Stuart, who had declared bitterly that the Eels were "genuinely better off without him".

While Folau told Parramatta last Friday he would not be returning to the NRL, Cheika revealed he'd first started meeting with Folau three weeks ago.

The relationship clearly blossomed as Folau so Cheika so impressed him that he was the main reason why he agreed join the Tahs, with aspirations to go on and play for the Wallabies.

The deal ends a month of intense speculation about the 23-year-old former rugby league Test star's future since he cut short his multi million dollar, four-year deal with AFL club Greater Western Sydney citing a lack of passion for the game after he struggled to adapt.

Folau said his first choice when leaving GWS was to return to the NRL. And he said the last few days since he walked away from the Eels' talks had been tough after he was branded a money-hungry mercenary in sections of the media. He insisted the move to rugby union wasn't a money-driven venture, noting that if it was only about money he would have stayed for the last two years of his AFL deal.

"It (rugby union) kind of came out of nowhere," said Folau.

"It wasn't on the cards (upon leaving GWS), but when I thought about it more over time it started to be a bit clearer to me."





Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Justice and sleep at last
  2. Court told of baby's tragic end
  3. Rugby star's emotional celebration with children
  4. Kolinisau: Team was fit
  5. Kalouniwai for top job
  6. Muslim league condemns Sydney crisis
  7. Call to clarify action
  8. Kunatani, Tuwai to return in next leg
  9. Back to the roots
  10. Christmas gifts bring smiles

Top Stories this Week

  1. 7s TV saga Friday (12 Dec)
  2. Under investigation Friday (12 Dec)
  3. TV pair sent home Wednesday (17 Dec)
  4. My boy, my hero Monday (15 Dec)
  5. Justice and sleep at last Thursday (18 Dec)
  6. She's gone but the pain stays Tuesday (16 Dec)
  7. Debate on Bill No. 28 Friday (12 Dec)
  8. TERROR ALERT Gunmen strike Sydney cafe Tuesday (16 Dec)
  9. Clan leader calls for harsher penalties Wednesday (17 Dec)
  10. Five-try Fiji forge Plate final berth Monday (15 Dec)