Melbourne Rebels want Gasnier, not Folau - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Melbourne Rebels want Gasnier, not Folau

By Melissa Woods 12/04/2010 08:14:28 PM Comments (0)

The Melbourne Rebels insist they're only chasing one player with ties to rugby league and that's Mark Gasnier.

The new Super 15 rugby franchise has been linked with Brisbane Broncos star Israel Folau.

The 20-year-old, who joined the Broncos in 2009 after two successful years with the Melbourne Storm where he broke try-scoring records, has reportedly been given a deadline of the end of April to re-commit to his NRL club.

Brisbane signed the Test flyer on a four-year deal that has a two-year option in the player's favour and want Folau to pledge his loyalty.

Although he moved back to Brisbane to be closer to his tight-knit family, it's believed he misses Melbourne.

While the Storm NRL club, already under serious salary cap pressure, couldn't afford him, the new Super side, who will join the expanded competition next year, could.

However coach Rod Macqueen said the only league player, former or otherwise the Rebels were pursuing, was former Test representative Gasnier, who is currently playing rugby in France.

"We haven't had any discussions with Israel Folau," Macqueen told AAP.

"At the moment we're concentrating on Gasnier so from our point of view, if we can get him we'll be very happy.

Macqueen said the Rebels hadn't discounted recruiting league players who were interested in a code switch, but weren't actively pursuing any current NRL players.

The World Cup-winning coach said the Rebels weren't expecting a decision from Gasnier until he had finished his negotiations with the Australian Rugby Union, who he would also sign with.

It's believed the ARU has offered the former Dragons captain a largely incentive-based contract, which will mean a big pay day if he makes the Wallabies squad for next year's World Cup in New Zealand.

Gasnier has spoken of his desire to play in the tournament and prove himself on the international stage, as he did in rugby league.

However his cashed-up French club Stade Francais is reportedly making it difficult for him to leave, where the centre is settled with his French wife, Claudine, who he married last month, by offering a massive deal.

The ARU hasn't set any deadlines for Gasnier to declare where his future lies.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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