Folau out to emulate dual-code star Robinson
May 20, 2013
Israel Folau has described his Wallabies call-up as 'surreal'
The former Australian rugby league international, who also played Aussie Rules for the Greater Western Sydney Giants in 2012, was recently named in Robbie Deans' 25-man squad to tackle the British & Irish Lions next month despite having only made his Super Rugby debut for the Waratahs earlier this year.
The 24-year-old described his inclusion as 'surreal' and believes his relative obscurity could help him emulate Robinson who made a high-profile switch from league to union before going on to star for England and the British & Irish Lions - most memorably crossing for a sensational try in the first Test victory over the Wallabies in 2001.
"I'm very confident in my own ability but I'm not guaranteed to get a starting spot so I'm just happy to be named in the 25-man squad," Folau told Sportal.com.
"I haven't seen much of the previous series, obviously, and with their current players now, me personally I don't know too many of their players. I guess I'm still new to knowing all the faces of the game but that might be a thing that could work in my favour.
"You've probably seen when Jason Robinson made the transition from league, he did a great job," he added to Fox Sports.
Robinson would go on to make 51 appearances for England and also captain his country before retiring after the 2007 World Cup but Folau is yet to commit his long-term future to the 15-man code with lucrative offers to return to rugby league reportedly on the table.
"It's going to be a big part in the decision that I make," he said. "It just comes down to what I enjoy the most and at the moment I'm really enjoying it and I get the chance to go into camp and experience this whole campaign and it's certainly going to come into consideration when I make my decision."
"I feel very honoured to be a part of it and it makes it more special with this series only coming around every 12 years," Folau added.
Lions winger Jason Robinson celebrates scoring a try against the Wallabies during their first Test clash in 2001 © Getty Images
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin
After Brian O'Driscoll's emotional final Ireland appearance on home soil, and seeing the Six Nations boil down to a three-horse race, we bring you the Weekend in Pictures