Sun, Feb 10, 2019 - Page 7 News List

Israel Folau inks new four-year deal with Wallabies and NSW Waratahs


Superstar fullback Israel Folau yesterday inked a new four-year deal with the Wallabies and the New South Wales Waratahs until the end of 2022, putting to bed any concerns that he might move overseas.

The divisive 29-year-old, who switched to union from rugby league in 2013, currently has the fourth-most tries in Australian Test history.

“I’m really grateful to Rugby Australia and the Waratahs for all they have done for me. When I made the switch to rugby [union] five years ago, I could never have dreamed that it would have gone this well,” Folau said.

“The [Rugby] World Cup is a big target of mine this year and I believe this Wallabies group can go a long way if we keep on improving,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to working hard and doing whatever I can to help the team achieve what we want to achieve, both this year and into the future,” he added.


Folau’s rugby union future seemed in doubt after the devout Christian in April last year wrote on social media that God’s plan for gay people was hell unless they repented.

The comments sparked an uproar and led to him being called in by Rugby Australia officials, prompting speculation that he might return to rugby league or move overseas.

However, Rugby Australia ultimately decided against any disciplinary action and Folau has continued in the Test side.

“Israel’s contribution to the Wallabies since making the switch shows why he’s one of the best players in the world,” Australia coach Michael Cheika said.

“It is great to see him make a long-term commitment to the Wallabies and Waratahs, and I know that he’s still very keen to become an even better player in that time, as well as achieve success with the Wallabies,” Cheika added.

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