Pulver, McKenzie express Folau confidence
July 27, 2013
Star back Israel Folau is ready to sign a new two-year deal with New South Wales Waratahs, according to Australian media reports.
Folau switched to rugby union following spells in rugby league and AFL, and the dual international, who has seven caps for Australia in league and three in union, starred in the recent British & Irish Lions series and crossed for a brace of tries on his debut.
Sydney Morning Herald and Rugby Gold reported on Friday that Folau had agreed a new two-year deal with the Waratahs but the Australian Rugby Union, which pays a portion of the Wallabies' salaries, has to table its own offer to Folau's representatives to finalise the contract.
ARU chief executive Bill Pulver said on Friday, at the press conference to announce the 40-man Wallabies squad for The Rugby Championship, that "we've been having very positive discussions with Israel and his management".
"We are quietly confident he's going to stay in rugby," Pulver said. "That's certainly the suggestion we're getting, but the agreement is not signed so I won't be comfortable until it is signed. I'm confident [it will happen]. I've been waiting for weeks so I'm hoping it's imminent but it's not done."
Ewen McKenzie named Folau in his Rugby Championship training squad despite the player coming off contract at the end of the season, the coach saying "I wouldn't have picked him if I wasn't confident that he'd still be there".
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