Israel Folau Biography
Israel Folau (Tongan: Isileli Folau; born 3 April 1989) is an Australian former professional rugby player who played for the New South Wales Waratahs in the Super Rugby. He has previously played professional rugby league and Australian rules football. He is currently embroiled in a scandal with Rugby Australia over social media posts exhibiting homophobic comments.
Folau Fast Facts Wiki/Bio
|Date of birth||3 April 1989|
|Place of birth||Minto, New South Wales, Australia|
|Height||194 cm (6 ft 4 in)|
|Weight||103 kg (16 st 3 lb; 227 lb)|
|School||Westfields Sports High School
Marsden State High School
Bio, Early Carrer
Folau played rugby league for the Melbourne Storm in the National Rugby League (NRL) from 2007 to 2008, where he broke the record for most tries in a debut year. He then played with the Brisbane Broncos from 2009 to 2010. Playing as a wing or centre, Folau represented Queensland in the State of Origin and Australia, becoming the youngest player to play for both teams.
In 2011, Folau joined the Greater Western Sydney Giants in the Australian Football League (AFL) and played for two seasons. In December 2012, Folau announced he was to switch codes again, this time for rugby union, and signed a one-year contract with the Waratahs. He made his international debut for Australia in 2013 against the British & Irish Lions. “Israel Folau Street” was named in his honour on October 2010 in a suburb of Goodna, Ipswich, Queensland where Folau played junior rugby league.
Following homophobic comments made on his social media accounts in April 2019, Rugby Australia announced their intention to void Folau’s contract and remove him permanently from the Australian national team. That same day the chairman of the Australian Rugby League, Peter Beattie, announced that Folau would be banned from any NRL team in the future.
Folau was born in Minto, New South Wales to Tongan parents. He attended Lurnea Public School and Westfield Sports High School before his family moved to Brisbane, Queensland in 2004. In Brisbane Folau attended Marsden State High School from where he was selected for the Queensland Schoolboys squad in the Australian Under-15 Championships and also represented the Australian Schoolboys team in 2006. Folau also played several seasons of junior rugby league at the Goodna Eagles in Goodna.
At the Australian championships, Folau was spotted by a Melbourne Storm scout and was invited to play his junior football with the Storm’s feeder club at the time, Queensland Cup team, the Norths Devils. He won a premiership while playing with Norths and became the first player to represent Queensland Under-19’s while still only 16 years old. From playing with the Queensland Schoolboys and the Devils, in 2006, while in year 12 at Marsden State High School where his classmates were Chris Sandow and Antonio Winterstein, Folau was selected to play in the Australian Schoolboys squad that toured Wales, England and France. Folau was strong, representing Australia and at the end of the tour was awarded the Australian Secondary School Rugby Leagues (ASSRL) Award for the best back of the tournament. Playing years above his age gave Melbourne the confidence to give Folau an opportunity in the NRL.
Folau is the older brother of John Folau, who is also a rugby union player.
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