Folau pumped for Origin goodbye, for now - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Folau pumped for Origin goodbye, for now

By Wayne Heming 30/06/2010 04:57:06 PM Comments (0)

AFL-bound Israel Folau isn't sure if this will be his last State of Origin rugby league match but expect him to play like it is.

The 21-year-old wing giant wants a positive end to a torrid two months when he runs out for Queensland in next Wednesday's Origin series finale.

The match will be played at ANZ Stadium in Sydney's west - where Folau will be based as the player face of the AFL's GWS franchise from next year.

But that's far from his mind as he prepares to farewell the Maroons, at least for a few seasons, and Queensland seek their first series whitewash of NSW since Paul Vautin's 1995 team triumphed against the odds.

While an ARL push to ban him from the showpiece Origin series because of his code switch failed, rules to prevent a similar occurrence may be introduced after the series.

But Folau isn't ruling out a return to the series if he decides to return to league later in his career.

Asked if he thinks this is his last Origin, he told AAP: "I'm not sure. Time will tell over the next four years, anything can happen.

"I might come back to league, who knows.

"I'm just going to make this a great week and my last game for Queensland for now. It's going to be awesome."

Folau, the youngest player in history to represent Australia, admits he became frustrated at times during the controversy and media fanfare since his code switch announcement.

"It's been a rollercoaster ride over the last month or so," Folau said.

"I have to say I've been frustrated a few times with it all but I've done my best not to show it."

Folau has been driven through it by the support of his club Brisbane and his family.

"I didn't want to let them down by going out and not playing good for the Broncos," he said.

"I've had to get my preparation right each week for my club and go out and have a clear head and play for the team."

He said his parents, Eni and Amelia, had been wonderful throughout.

Queensland captain Darren Lockyer is hoping it doesn't prove to be Folau's last Origin.

"It's pretty sad he's leaving this group but you always hold out hope he'll be back one day," said Lockyer.

"He just needs to kick one goal, 10 behinds in his first (Australian Rules) game and he'll be straight back," he laughed.

"He's grown as a person and as a player during that tough period this year and it's a real credit to him how he's performed on the back of all the distractions he's had.

"No matter what challenges are put in front of him, whether it's at AFL or when he comes back to league, he's going to be much better for it."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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