Isarel Folau signs four-year Australia deal after months of negotiations
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 09/02/19 8:03am
Israel Folau has signed a new four-year deal with Rugby Australia (RA) that will commit him to the Wallabies until 2022.
The full-back agreed a contract extension with his Super Rugby side the Waratahs in October, but had been involved in months of negotiations with RA over his national contract.
However, after finally agreeing terms, Folau said: "I'm really grateful to Rugby Australia and the Waratahs for all they have done for me.
"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."
Folau is third on the Wallabies' list of all-time try scorers, with 37, and his new deal will come as a boost to head coach Michael Cheika following a 2018 in which the side won just four of 13 Tests.
He has been playing rugby union since 2013, before which he had spells in rugby league and Australian Rules.
Several sides outside of Australia were reportedly keen to sign the 29-year-old, as well as a number of rugby leagues sides.
Folau's religious views were understood to have been a complicating factor in his contract negotiations with RA.
He has publically stated his opposition to same-sex marriage, as well as saying homosexuals were condemned to "hell" unless they chose to "repent" in a social media post.
RA did not censure Folau at the time and supported his statement in which he said he did not want to "upset people intentionally" with his views.
Folau later said he told RA and Waratahs chiefs he would walk away from the sport if his views became "untenable".