Folau says league door still open - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Folau says league door still open

By Wayne Heming 03/09/2010 11:13:09 PM Comments (0)

An emotional Israel Folau refused to declare his rugby league career over as Brisbane bowed out of the NRL finals race with an 18-16 loss to Canberra at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

Folau will begin a new sporting challenge next year with the AFL expansion side Greater Western Sydney who have signed the 21-year-old to a four year deal.

But Folau, who scored 37 tries in 38 games in his two season for Brisbane, was not prepared to say goodbye to rugby league after forming a strong bond with his teammates.

"We gave it a real go out there tonight," said Folau who scored 73 tries in 91 games for Melbourne and Brisbane.

"The result wasn't good, but everyone was happy with the way we played it out till the end.

"The last two years have been great and I've made some really good friendships over the last two years here and over the last four years in the NRL with Melbourne as well.

"You never know what the future holds, I may be back."

Folau will be 25 when his AFL deal expires and in his physical prime.

"I'm going next year to try and achieve my goal but I'll definitely leave the door to rugby league open and maybe come back one day," he said.

The Broncos would welcome him back in an instant.

However they've picked up a handy replacement in Queensland and Australian centre Greg Inglis for a few years while Folau is off chasing his next sporting challenge.

The youngest player to represent Australia, Folau played eight Tests and eight State-of-Origins.

His profile, size and ability to leap above the pack for bombs attracted the AFL's attention, as well as his marketing appeal for a new franchise based in the heart of rugby league heartland in Sydney's western suburbs.

Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak had nothing but praise for Folau and the way he handled himself since news of his AFL defection broke during this year's Origin series.

"He's been wonderful for the club and he hasn't disappointed anyone," he said.

Brisbane halfback Peter Wallace produced one of the gutsiest performances in years playing the 80 minutes with a busted shoulder which he will need to have surgically reconstructed.

Wallace, who chopped down Canberra's big forwards with sheer courage, tried his heart out and was barely able to walk after the game.

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