Wallabies boss Robbie Deans believes Israel Folau will become 'an absolute legend of the game' if he commits to rugby union.
Wallabies boss Robbie Deans believes Waratahs back Israel Folau will become 'an absolute legend of the game' if he rejects big money NRL offers and commits to rugby union on a long term basis.
Folau, who has represented Australia at rugby league has been one of the Waratahs' standout performers since joining them failing to impress during two seasons as an AFL player.
Deans held his cards close to his chest when asked if Folau would be making his Test debut during the upcoming series against the British and Irish Lions.
He admitted, however, that that the sky is the limit for Folau.
“The last couple of outings he's shown elements that we'd love to have in our group,” Deans told Sportal. “We've got a selectors' meeting today and those are conversations we'll be having.
“We'll have to make some decisions and we'll start with obviously the group that is going to run out and then we'll look at what we'll do in terms of off the bench.
“But yes Israel does some things that no one else can do. How many games has he had now – 10 or so?
“It's remarkable what he can do for a bloke who's playing his 10th game of rugby.
“Whatever happens, let's hope he sticks around because he could be an absolute legend of the game if he does.”
Folau's contract with the Australian Rugby Union comes to an end in November and Deans admitted that they want to hold onto the 23-year-old's services.
“We'd love to keep him, but he's got choice,” he said. “He could do whatever he wants so it'll come down to what he wants to do.
“But the game does offer him the opportunity to do all the things he's good at, and a lot of variety both on and off the field.
“Hopefully he's enjoying that and wants to pursue it. I hope he's enjoying the point of difference that union offers him.
“This will be his first experience in Africa and having the opportunity to see the world. And while he does what he enjoys, hopefully he'll cherish and seek more of it.”