One Of Michael Cheika’s Star Wallaby Players Could Be Set To Leave Rugby Union
Michael Cheika could be set to lose another of of his top stars, but this time to Rugby League.
Fullback Israel Folau has been linked with a surprise switch back to rugby league with the Warriors. The 27-year-old, former Melbourne Storm and Brisbane Broncos player, is reportedly a prime target for the Auckland based NRL club for 2018.
Folau has played rugby union for the Waratahs and Wallabies since 2013 after a brief stint with AFL club Greater Western Sydney. Australian magazine Rugby League Week reported on Monday that Folau is open to an NRL return, and the Warriors are keen to spend big to get him.
His relationship with veteran Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei, a close friend, is also thought to be key. A move to Auckland might also make sense given his engagement to New Zealand netball star Maria Tutaia, who plays for the Northern Mystics.
A huge blow for Michael Cheika and his Rugby World Cup 2019 plans should Folau leave.