Folau struggling with pressure: Thaiday - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Folau struggling with pressure: Thaiday

By John Salvado 04/05/2010 04:53:40 PM Comments (0)

Sam Thaiday says superstar Brisbane teammate Israel Folau is struggling with the pressure of deciding whether to swap codes or stick with the Broncos.

Folau, who turned 21 on Monday, is favoured to join the new Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby franchise next year, although other options include linking with Greater Western Sydney in the AFL or staying in rugby league.

Faced with a deadline, Folau told Brisbane last week he would not exercise a contract option with the NRL club for the 2011-12 seasons as he battles with his decision.

"Israel is not one that likes to deal with the media, he doesn't really deal with (off-field) pressure too much or too easily," Thaiday said on Tuesday.

"All of this pressure from the media, from the club, from the ARL, from the QRL, from everyone is making him feel a little bit upset at the moment.

"... I think you have to try and get it out of him sometimes.

"I know (Broncos captain Darren Lockyer) has had a few chats to him and he's told Locky that he hasn't made up his mind on what he wants to do yet.

"He's pretty much just sitting around trying to figure out what his future is."

Despite being a close friend of Folau's, Thaiday said he had no inkling what his final decision would be.

"I had no idea what Karmichael (Hunt) was doing (before his shock switch from the Broncos to new AFL outfit Gold Coast), I had no idea what Locky was doing when he made his announcement about representative football so my gut feeling is terrible," said Thaiday.

"I'm way off."

But one thing Thaiday was certain about was that Folau was disappointed not to be a part of the Australian team for Friday night's Anzac Test in Melbourne.

Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens insisted that Folau was overlooked in favour of Jamie Lyon because the latter was a specialist centre, rather than the ongoing doubts over his playing future.

"I'm sure he's a bit upset but he still hasn't made his decision on what he's going to do," said Thaiday.

"He's one that gets rattled very easily so I'm sure that this has hurt him a lot, not being in this side.

"He'd love to be here playing with us.

"I support him 100 per cent, whatever decision he makes - if he leaves or if he stays.

"He's a great friend of mine and I'll support him."

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