Rugby star Israel Folau has officially extended his career in Australian Rugby in confirming a new deal with Rugby Australia and the NSW Waratahs.
Folau, who was won a record three John Eales Medals as the Wallabies Players’ Player, has signed a four-year deal to remain with the NSW Waratahs until the end of 2022.
Having switched to Rugby in 2013, Folau already has the fourth-most tries in Wallabies Test history with a strike rate of just over one try in every two games he has played in the gold jersey.
The 29-year old dotted down to become the all-time leading Australian tryscorer in The Rugby Championship in 2018 and already owns the record for the most tries in a calendar year when he scored 12 in 2017, despite not playing on the end of season Spring Tour.
Qantas Wallabies back Israel Folau said: “I’m really grateful to Rugby Australia and the Waratahs for all they have done for me. When I made the switch to Rugby five years ago, I could never have dreamed that it would have gone this well.
“The World Cup is a big target of mine this year and I believe this Wallabies group can go a long way if we keep on improving. I’m looking forward to working hard and doing whatever I can to help the team achieve what we want to achieve both this year and into the future.
“I’ve also been very fortunate to win a title with the Waratahs in 2014 and looking at the squad right now with some of the young players we’ve got coming through, the future is very bright and I want to be a part of that.”
Qantas Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said: “Israel’s contribution the Wallabies since making the switch shows why he’s one of the best players in the world.
“It is great to see him make a long-term commitment to the Wallabies and Waratahs, and I know that he’s still very keen to become an even better player in that time, as well achieve success with the Wallabies.
“I’m sure he is ready to kick off his new adventure in Rugby with a huge year in 2019 – he trained hard at the National Camp in early January and you can see he is ready for a big one,” Cheika said.
NSW Waratahs Head Coach, Daryl Gibson, echoed Cheika’s sentiment saying: “We are pleased to have Israel committed to playing rugby in New South Wales.
“To have world class quality players like Israel and Michael Hooper both committed long term term to the NSW Waratahs, provides the spine of our team with stability and helps us build for future,” said Gibson.
Folau was the youngest player to ever represent Australia in Rugby League when he pulled on the Kangaroos jersey in 2007 after starring for the Melbourne Storm in his debut season.
In 2011, Folau joined the Greater Western Sydney Giants in the AFL and played for two seasons before switching to Rugby and joining the Waratahs for the 2013 season.
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