Why Folau is a Tah man

Fri, 30 Aug 2013 08:35
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Rugby League convert and new Wallaby sensation Israel Folau believes the Waratahs are on the brink of breaking their Super Rugby drought.

Rugby League convert and new Wallaby sensation Israel Folau believes the Waratahs are on the brink of breaking their Super Rugby drought.

Folau, who this week signed on with the Australian Rugby Union and stayed with the Sydney-based Super Rugby franchise, said the chance to finally break the Waratahs' long-standing Super Rugby drought played a key role in his re-committing to Rugby Union for two more years.

The former Rugby League star and AFL player signed a new contract that will keep him with the 15-man code until the 2015 World Cup.

The Melbourne Storm grand final winner was linked to a return to the NRL with Canterbury, after rebuffing Parramatta's advances last year, but has remained committed to the 15-a-side code after a stunning debut season.

And the Wallabies wing told Fox Sports' Rugby HQ that a shot at winning a Super Rugby title with the Waratahs was a motivating factor.

"From day one with Cheik [Waratahs coach Michael Cheika] I felt a great connection," Folau said.

"I felt like we had a pretty tight group ... I felt that straight away.

"And I feel like we can do a lot of great things in years to come.

In Cheika's first season the Waratahs enjoyed an indifferent Super Rugby campaign to place third in the Australian conference and ninth overall.

But it was a far cry from the 2012 season which NSW ended on a record losing streak.

Folau said he and the Waratahs had plenty to build on from Cheika's first season.

"As a group we can be happy with the season," he said.

"But I'm sure we can do a lot better than that for the next few seasons."

Folau's decision to stick with rugby sets him up to exceed his achievements in rugby league, where he earned eight caps for Australia, including playing in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.

The fullback for the Waratahs and wing for the Wallabies was named Australian Super Rugby rookie of the year and - despite limited opportunities with the ball - also impressed for the Wallabies, scoring three tries in his first five Tests.

Source: NZ Newswire

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Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 16
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14