Folau could be big in rugby union: Hynes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Folau could be big in rugby union: Hynes

By Wayne Heming 27/04/2010 06:32:15 PM Comments (0)

Queensland Reds star Peter Hynes believes Melbourne Rebels target Israel Folau could follow the path of former Broncos Wendell Sailor and Lote Tuqiri and play a World Cup for the Wallabies next year.

Melbourne's Super 15 newcomers are believed to have made a tantalising offer to the 21-year-old Bronco, who's understood to be keen to escape the pressure of being the face of the Broncos along with skipper Darren Lockyer.

While signing on as the Rebels' marquee recruit would mean plenty of media exposure, Folau feels it's much easier to cope with in Melbourne than in a rugby league heartland.

Hynes says Folau, who has until Friday to decide if he wants to keep playing for Brisbane, would be great for the Rebels and for rugby union if they secured his signature.

The Rebels are deep in discussions with former Dragons international Mark Gasnier and Hynes believes having both big names would give the new kids on the block an instant profile.

Storm star Billy Slater has also been mentioned as a target signing.

"That's the sort of players Melbourne have to get," Hynes, currently thrashing out his own contract deal with the Reds, told AAP.

"They want high profile players to build a bit of interest down there and I reckon those guys would do that.

"(Folau and Gasnier) would certainly have their challenges (to play in next year's World Cup in New Zealand) but there are a few who have done it before.

"Someone like Israel ... I couldn't see why he wouldn't be successful, a big powerful guy with good skills.

"His aerial work is unbelievable, I think he'd be a top-class player."

Hynes said rugby players weren't jealous of league's leading lights pulling massive offers without having played the game.

"Good luck to him if he can get that," he said.

"We get those big money offers from overseas as well.

"There's big money in Japan and France.

"People who stay in rugby or come to rugby do it generally because they have ambitions to play for the Wallabies and to win a World Cup.

"You're not driven purely by money.

"It's obviously a contributing factor but at the end of the day I think most of it is to play in those big games.

"Those moments when you win a World Cup, you've got them for life and that's something most of the guys here (Reds) want to achieve."

Hynes said Folau was still young enough to achieve rugby's highest honour and return to rugby league like Sailor and Tuqiri, who were World Cup teammates in 2003.

"He (Folau) can do both, things have changed," he said.

"You've got Karmichael Hunt going to AFL or going to union and then to AFL, so anything can happen.

"It would be a steep learning curve in a year to try and make the Wallabies and play in a World Cup, but he probably could do it."

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