Israel Folau has ended speculation over his future by signing a new long-term deal with Rugby Australia and the Waratahs.
The Wallabies full-back had been linked with a return to rugby league, while the Reds and Sale Sharks are among the clubs who were reported to be interested in the prolific 29-year-old.
However, the dual-code international has opted to stay with the Sydney-based Super Rugby franchise until the end of 2022.
“I’m really grateful to Rugby Australia and the Waratahs for all they have done for me. When I made the switch to rugby five years ago, I could never have dreamed that it would have gone this well.” said Folau, who sits fourth on the all-time list of leading try-scorers for the Wallabies.
“The World Cup is a big target of mine this year and I believe this Wallabies group can go a long way if we keep on improving.
“I’m looking forward to working hard and doing whatever I can to help the team achieve what we want to achieve both this year and into the future.
“I’ve also been very fortunate to win a title with the Waratahs in 2014 and looking at the squad right now with some of the young players we’ve got coming through, the future is very bright and I want to be a part of that.”
Excited to continue my journey with the @wallabies @nswwaratahs for another four seasons! Big year ahead, can’t wait to get started with the boys. All glory to my Lord Jesus Christ, without him none of this would be possible. Everything that I’ve achieved is through the power and strength of God. #ILiveAndPlayForChrist #Wallabies #NSWWaratahs
Australia head coach Michael Cheika said: “Israel’s contribution the Wallabies since making the switch shows why he’s one of the best players in the world.
“It is great to see him make a long-term commitment to the Wallabies and Waratahs, and I know that he’s still very keen to become an even better player in that time, as well achieve success with the Wallabies.
“I’m sure he is ready to kick off his new adventure in rugby with a huge year in 2019 – he trained hard at the National Camp in early January and you can see he is ready for a big one.”
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