Sport

Issy going to stay in the AFL?

Israel Folau before his move to the AFL.
Israel Folau before his move to the AFL. Claudia Baxter

ISRAEL Folau might be sporting a new hairstyle and a new body shape, but his presence in the stands at ANZ Stadium on Friday night has done little to mask the most recent round of rumours that he is heading back to rugby league.

Folau is entitled to attend a rugby league match despite the fact he is now playing AFL. That freedom of choice is what is great about living in Australia.

But his timing was deplorable. I imagine his GWS coach Kevin Sheedy and AFL boss Andrew Demetriou were not doing cartwheels when the face of big Issy, sitting in the stands watching the Eels and Bulldogs, bobbed up on Channel 9.

Not pretending to understand the intracies of AFL, I really have no idea whether Folau is actually starting to make a fist of the game, unlike his former Broncos team mate Karmichael Hunt.

But what I can appreciate is that $6 million - reportedly - for four years as a poster boy is a whopping PR deal.

And it would be a cushy arrangement for someone comfortable with their lot in life, has no great ambition and is content with feeding their greed. But nothing in that portrayal fits Israel Folau.

He is an awesome athlete who has already conceded he took the money on offer from the AFL so he could help support his family. And the manner in which he has trained, educated himself and changed his body shape in an effort to make the grade in AFL says he's no sloth.

But surely the time must come when Issy, and the AFL, admits defeat and says enough is enough. Sheedy can say publically with a straight face that Folau will make it in Aussie Rules, but it seems very few believe him.

And Folau hardly convinced the general populous last week when he announced - at Luna Park of all places - that he was committed to GWS for the next two years. Missing was a sparkle in his eye and a conviction in his voice.

When he switched to AFL he said it was for the challenge. I wonder if he watched the recent State of Origin series and considered what a challenge that might be for him now?

No doubt Folau has become a pawn in a much bigger game - a power struggle between Australia's two biggest footy codes. It seems such a shame that he would rather remain obstinate - and maybe even greedy - and not play the game that best suits his talents.

But perhaps he longs to be like Karmichael, and one day kick the winning goal after the siren and suddenly be hailed a legend.

Topics:  afl, israel folau, nrl



Fraser calls for greyhound ban reversal in leaked email

BAN REVERSAL: Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser has called for the NSW Government to reverse its decision to ban greyhound racing.

Coffs Harbour MP calls for State Government to reverse ban

Drone footage highlights beauty of Yamba

A snapshot of ex-Clarence Valley resident John Hale's drone video of Turners Beach in Yamba.

See the Clarence from a new perspective

Why we're the top spot for mobile tourists

Caravanners and campers spend an average $152 a night in our region.

Our region is the top spot for caravanners and campers in the state.

Local Partners

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Testament's new album is a concept album

ROME, ITALY- JULY 27, 2016: Testament photographed at The Roman Collisseium in Rome, Italy on July 27,2016. Gene Ambo

Testament to release new album

'Baby' recreates famous Nirvana cover shot 25 years later

The baby from Nevermind album has recreated the iconic cover shot.

PREVIEW: Luke Cage origin story is a strong addition to MCU

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage.

MIKE Colter stars as latest Marvel superhero to get his own series.

Clarence Valley property prices go through the roof

Buyers are hungry to sink their teeth into the Clarence Valley

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

NEW HOME: Agents to the rescue for family of nine

RELIEF: Tanya Cone (middle) with her kids and McKimm's Real Estate property managers Regan Firth and Nadine Greenhalgh who helped find her family a home.

DEX article prompts property managers to help family find new home

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction