Joining the Waratahs ... Israel Folau. Photo: Anthony Johnson
ISRAEL Folau insists he has no regrets about the way his playing future has worked out after confirming a one-year deal with NSW Waratahs.
Folau had been expected to return to the NRL with Parramatta after securing a release from the final two years of his $1.5 million per season AFL deal but after becoming frustrated by protracted negotiations he will play a third code.
I class myself as a true person to me and my family so what has been said is upsetting.
Speaking for the first time since he turned his back on an offer from the Eels last Friday, Folau said he had never committed to playing for the club and hit back at criticism.
"I met with Parramatta on Friday. For me I had nothing to hide and I met with them face to face," Folau said.
"It has been a tough week for me but I am happy with the decision."
"I class myself as a true person to me and my family so what has been said is upsetting.
"There were a number of factors in my decision to join the NSW Waratahs. I left GWS because I didn't have the passion for the game but because of timings I didn't know if I'd get anything.
In relation to the criticism of the failed deal with the Eels, Folau said he didn't "promise anyone anything" and that he had left his options open after leaving the GWS Giants.
"I said right from the start that I was keeping my options open because I knew it would be hard for rugby league to accommodate me.
"I'm excited to be staying in Sydney and am absolutely very happy with the way things have worked out."
Asked about claims that he had made the decision for money, Folau said: "If I was entirely in it for the money I could have stayed in AFL for the next two years of my contract."
Folau, who admitted to ambitions of being a Wallaby, said the one-year deal would give him the chance to decide if he wanted to stay in rugby union or return to league next season.