Israel Folau is the first Wallabies star confirmed for next year’s Brisbane Global Tens.
Folau was named as an ambassador for the event on Friday, along with All Blacks winger Israel Dagg.
One of the big questions over the inaugural event, that involves Australian and international teams, was whether big names would be preserved by their clubs ahead of the Super Rugby season, but securing a handful of players as ambassadors has put paid to some of that concern.
An injury to Sonny Bill Williams has already cost the event some star power and recently returned Reds flyhalf Quade Cooper said Super Rugby would be his major summer focus and the Tens would only be a part of his preseason if it was of benefit to that preparation.
Folau is no stranger to Brisbane, having played NRL for the Broncos and many a State of Origin at Suncorp Stadium and having watched on as some of his former teammates played in Duco’s Auckland Nines.
“I love watching the Nines and looking at that concept I've always thought that rugby could do a similar thing and I'm very excited about the 10s that's happening,” he said.
“I haven't played 10s before and that sort of stuff so I wouldn't know what it’s like but speaking to guys who have played 15s and gone over to try and play 7s it's a totally different changeup for them physically and also just in the game.”
Dagg has dabbled in 10s before, having played in the Hong Kong Tens earlier in his career and said it was good to see something different in the rugby landscape, amid a sporting world where the
“It's something different,” he said
“Rugby's all year round and you go from the Test window or the ITM (Cup) or the NRC and then you go to a break and then you play Super Rugby for seven or eight months of the year.
“To have something else that's new, different, involved in that, it gets the boys up, it gets them excited, something they've never experienced and it's going to be a great opportunity.
“Rugby can tend to be day-to-day and you're just living day-to-day so [to have] something else that's new, it's just an opportunity.”
The Brisbane Global Tens will run from February 11-12, 2017.