Frustrated Folau contemplates switching codes again
April 17, 2014
Israel Folau back in training this week ... but where does his future lie? © Getty Images
The shambles surrounding Israel Folau being barred from playing for New South Wales Waratahs last weekend rumbles on, and ESPN's Greg Growden said it is possible it could prove the tipping point in the player deciding to switch codes and return to rugby league.
Folau, who had been sidelined with a throat injury, was cleared to play after being assessed by club doctors only for the the Australian board's own staff to overrule them. Folau did not try to hide his displeasure at the decision.
Describing the ARU's action as "pathetic", Growden wrote: "Our ever-reliable Waratahs snouts have informed us that due to this fiasco, discussions between Folau's management and the Sydney Roosters NRL club have begun. The Roosters want him next year to help them overcome the loss of several senior backline players.
"There also remains the serious concern that third-party deals promised to Folau have not yet come to fruition. Our snouts say that while Folau has been promised plenty - a tally well into six figures - hardly anything has passed hands."
League clubs will be watching closely and will not hesitate to move for one of Australian sports' big-draw players. And Australian rugby, wallowing in a financial mire, cannot afford to lose him.
"If Folau returns to league, it is entirely the ARU's fault," Growden concluded. "They have bungled this big time."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
From Burgess to Boudjellal, Haskell to Honey Badgers and retirees to Retallick, here's the Quotes of 2014
It was another bumper year of rugby action in 2014; join us as we take a look back at some of the season's top statistics
Salary caps, Saints, sinners and scrums - Monday Maul looks back at the key talking points from an eventful weekend