It appears Wallabies fullback Israel Folau has made the decision to put his energies towards securing an opportunity to play Sevens in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
In an interview with a reporter from the Daily Telegraph, Folau indicated that should he have an opportunity to join a team and participate is such a prestigious event, he would likely do so. In the process he would have to miss some major tests with the Wallabies and league games as well. This is something punters would want to note before claiming something like a bet365 promo code and placing bets on the Wallabies.
In the interview, he stated, “If I could take that opportunity, I’m sure it’d be something to cherish and remember for the rest of your life. There’s no doubt the experience would be unreal. I’d definitely want to put my hand up to see if that opportunity (arose).”
While no specific team was mentioned as a suitor, it would seem he has gotten some interest in his services from the Aussie Sevens team. After starting his fine career with the Melbourne Storm in 2007, he was finally signed on to play with the Australian national team in 2013. As a halfback for the Wallabies, he has recorded 34 tries in 74 games. It’s unlikely he’ll get a chance to play Sevens in the Olympics without agreeing to forgo other options in order to train with his new Sevens team.
At this point, everything is just conjecture. His current priority is preparation for the Rugby World Cup, which begins Friday, 20 September 2019 and ends with the Finals match on Saturday 2 November 2019. In order to avoid disrupting his current training schedule, he will likely pass on discussing the idea with the governing body and NSW Rugby Union until after the conclusion of all World Cup matches. A switch to Sevens would require he learn a new set of plays and strategies in order to compete at the highest levels.
If he were to move on an opportunity, he would have to miss out on a majority of next year’s Wallabies Tests and the entire Super Rugby season, leading up to the Olympics. At age 29, the time would seem right for Folau to try to put a bow on a fine career.
Scott Bowen, Rugby Australia’s performance manager for sevens did offer up the idea that perhaps a contract could be negotiated that would allow a player of Folau’s stature to have a little more flexibility. There would be some minimum requirements, but there could be possible concessions.
Bowen told the reporter, “With Izzy, if he had that desire, then he might end up having to play three tournaments for example in next year’s World Series to put himself in contention for selection for the Olympics. Whether we can actually get there with all the contract and obligations, that’ll be a decision for the Waratahs and Rugby Australia and most importantly the player. He’s the one who has probably got to drive the discussion.”