Bellamy feels sorry for Folau - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bellamy feels sorry for Folau

By Steve Jancetic 09/06/2010 06:21:45 PM Comments (0)

NSW coach Craig Bellamy says Israel Folau has every right to be "confused" about his relationship with Queensland players and officials after admitting to feeling sorry for his former pupil.

Folau was on Tuesday named in the Maroons line-up for Origin II - just a week after skipper Darren Lockyer called for him to be snubbed by selectors following the 21-year-old's decision to join the AFL next season.

Lockyer's stance was in support of that of the Queensland hierarchy - before a injury to his potential replacement Brent Tate and supposed softening of the emotions led to the most extraordinary of backflips.

"I feel a little bit for Israel to be quite honest," said Bellamy, who coached Folau at Melbourne in 2007 and 2008.

"I know him pretty well and I've got a great deal of respect for him and a great deal of like for him because I coached him for two years and he's a tremendous young kid, but all of a sudden they're telling him they don't want him in the team, he's not going to be picked for Queensland and then all of a sudden he is picked for Queensland because Brent Tate got injured.

"I'd be a bit confused if I was Israel."

NSW officials on Tuesday labelled the decision to select Folau a disgrace, given the Brisbane star was signed by new AFL franchise Greater Western Sydney more for his ability to convert kids to AFL than his playing ability.

Asked whether Folau should have blocked from playing Origin, Bellamy said:

"That's someone else's decision ... it sounds like if he was a New South Welshman he wouldn't be picked.

"I don't know if it's wrong, right or indifferent but at the end of the day Israel's the guy I feel for."

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