Folau Joins Sydney University
by Brendan Bradford –
Star Waratahs recruit Israel Folau officially announced today that he will join Sydney University for the 2013 Shute Shield and has committed to providing a scholarship for a young player to study while playing rugby.
“During my career I have been fortunate to have been exposed to some terrific support and I am committed to showing faith in a fellow Tongan player and student at Sydney University and help them achieve their individual goals,” said Folau of the initiative which will be known as the Israel Folau Scholarship.
“I have been greatly attracted by the professionalism of the club, the quality of the people and the opportunities for study and career planning for life after rugby.”
Folau’s announcement today ends much speculation surrounding which club he would be aligned with and his decision is understandable considering many of his new Waratahs teammates are also with Uni. How much club rugby Folau will play remains to be seen after he wowed the crowd in a Man-of-the-Match performance in the Waratahs’ last trial match against the Crusaders on Thursday. He could very well be pushing for a regular spot on the bench, if not in the starting side for the Super Rugby season.
“He looked dangerous when he got the ball and had a few counter-attacks. It’s positive signs for him,” said Tahs coach Michael Cheika after the Crusaders match.
Uni coach Chris Malone is realistic about how much he’ll see of Folau, hinting he could be up for a Wallabies jersey come the British and Irish Lions tour.
“Israel is a supreme athlete and I am sure he will make a huge impact at the Waratahs and then hopefully the Wallabies,” Malone said.
“Our aim as a club is to see as many players as possible progress to representative rugby. Israel is no different and hopefully we can play a small role.”