Folau not playing under ultimatum: coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Folau not playing under ultimatum: coach

14/04/2010 04:18:51 PM Comments (0)

Angry Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak has slammed reports Brisbane star Israel Folau is playing under the pressure of an ultimatum to commit to the final two years of a $1.6 million four-year contract.

Henjak is becoming increasingly annoyed by media speculation linking the club's marquee player to a return to the Melbourne Storm and also reports saying he was the prime target of new Super 15 franchise the Melbourne Rebels.

"He has an option in his contract he has to take up at the end of April but to say we've put a deadline on him is rubbish," said Henjak.

"I've asked Izzy about the Storm rumours and he has told me he hasn't spoken to anyone, and I believe him.

"Of course we'd love to have him signed up now, but to say we have given him an ultimate is not correct."

Weekend reports said the Broncos had slapped an April 30 deadline on the destructive 20 year-old to either take up his option to leave or re-commit to the next two years.

Folau was able to have the two year bail-out clause included in his contract because at the time it was negotiated, the Broncos did not have a replacement coach for Wayne Bennett.

"I wasn't coach at the time and the clause was included to protect him (Folau)," said Henjak on Wednesday.

Folau, who returns from finger surgery against Cronulla on Sunday said last month when the Rebel rumours first surfaced that he wanted to be a Bronco "long term".

"I love the Broncos here and after one year here I really enjoyed it so with my second year coming around I certainly feel a lot more comfortable around the club now and getting to know everyone else," he said.

"I haven't even thought about (the Rebels). My main focus is playing good footy with the Broncos."

Rebels coach Rod McQueen came out on Monday declaring the new franchise was only interested in the signature of one rugby league international and that was Mark Gasnier who has been playing rugby union in France.

Henjak did not contest reports the club was angling to bring highly decorated prop Petero Civoniceva back in 2011 after being close to getting him in Bronco colours again this year.

Football manager Peter Nolan is expected to continue talks with Civoniceva who has another season on his contract with Penrith but who is understood to be interested in coming home ahead of schedule.

Civoniceva played his first 215 NRL games for Brisbane.

The man who holds the record for the most Tests by a forward (40) and who has played 25 Origins for Queensland, declared a week out from his 34th birthday that he planned to continue playing as long as his body held up.

"It's a year to year thing, but right now the body feels great and as long as it stays that way, I'll keep on playing," he said.

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