Wallabies star Israel Folau during a training session in Brisbane.
Wallabies star Israel Folau during a training session in Brisbane. DAN PELED

Folau open to New Zealand move

RUGBY UNION: Australian rugby star Israel Folau isn't ruling out the possibility of playing for a New Zealand Super Rugby team, but says it would be difficult to manoeuvre.

The prospect of Folau playing for a New Zealand rugby franchise was raised due to his relationship with Silver Ferns netballer Maria Tutaia.

The sporting glamour couple announced their engagement in October, and are yet to decide whether one will cross the Tasman to play in their chosen sport.

Folau is signed on a lucrative contract until 2018 with the Australian Rugby Union and NSW Waratahs, and admits he is unsure whether the ARU would allow him to move.

"I think it would be really difficult to try to manoeuvre and do things like that. At this stage I haven't looked into it but it is something that maybe down the track I can discuss with someone,” Folau said in an interview with Tony Veitch on Newstalk ZB.

If Tutaia was to move to Australia, she would be unable to play for the Silver Ferns due to Netball New Zealand's new eligibility ruling requiring players to play in the NZ league.

Folau says the pair still need to decide on their respective futures.

"We haven't discussed it as yet but that time will come round - we're going to have to sit down and talk deeply about how things are going to look.”

Folau admits that playing in a different country can be beneficial to a player's skillset, and hasn't ruled out a move to a New Zealand franchise.

"I wouldn't shut it out but every individual player has to weigh up their on-field and off-field things that they've got to look after.”

For now, Folau will join his Waratahs teammates for his first pre-season training session of the year on Monday.


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