Reds talk is 'white noise' for chilled Folau

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies and Waratahs star Israel Folau won’t be rushing into a call on his Super Rugby future, describing talk of a move to Queensland as ‘white noise’.

Folau is off-contract at the end of this year and while he is a wanted man at the Waratahs, he has been repeatedly linked with a shift to the Reds for 2019 and beyond.

The 29-year-old said any speculation was just ‘white noise’ for him, with his focus purely on helping NSW make it past the Highlanders in this weekend’s Super Rugby quarter-final.

“I know there's rumours going around, but not from my end in the sense of my management taking control of that,” he said.

“It's a bit of white noise in the background but nothing to worry about from my end.”

The Waratahs want to keep Israel Folau. Photo: Getty ImagesFolau said he wouldn’t put a deadline on his decision but a new deal is expected to be announced sometime between the Super Rugby season and the start of the Rugby Championship.

“There’s no timeline, obviously, so I'm just going to take my time and see what's best for me in the end,” he said.

“There's so many options, from my point of view, that I'll have a look at once the season comes to an end but at this stage just thinking about the game on the weekend.”

Reds coach Brad Thorn said last week that Queensland would certainly be interested in Folau and the weapons he has to offer.

"I guess it's one of those things where you have those dreams at night and some people see sheep jumping, I see Izzy in a Queensland jersey," he said.

"Izzy is playing his footy and his manager is running that stuff and we aren't hassling him or anything.

"If we heard he was interested in coming here that would be exciting and you imagine those (cross-field kicks).

"He's a real talent and I'm sure NSW and all other clubs feel the same way.”

The Waratahs are also yet to announce new deals for captain Michael Hooper and flyhalf Bernard Foley, though that pair are likely to be locked in before the Test season ramps up again.

The Waratahs take on the Highlanders on Saturday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, LIVE on FOXSPORTS and via RADIO. Buy tickets here.