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Schubert's wrong price tag drove Folau to Tahs

Date

Brad Walter

"I made it clear that my first preference was to come back and play rugby league but it didn't work out the way I would have liked" ... Israel Folau.

"I made it clear that my first preference was to come back and play rugby league but it didn't work out the way I would have liked" ... Israel Folau. Photo: Anthony Johnson

IF NRL salary cap auditor Ian Schubert had initially determined Israel Folau's value at $250,000 he almost certainly would have been posing for photos in an Eels jersey on Tuesday rather than a Waratahs one.

Instead, the Eels get nothing for their efforts in convincing Folau to walk away from his $1.5 million-a-season AFL contract and could even find him lining up against them, with rumours already linking him to the Bulldogs or Roosters in 2014.

The 23-year-old officially confirmed a one-year deal with the Waratahs on Tuesday, believed to be worth about $350,000, but he made it clear his first preference had been to play for Parramatta and refused to rule out a return to the NRL the following season.

"For my own security and future I had to move forward and get something done" ... Israel Folau.

"For my own security and future I had to move forward and get something done" ... Israel Folau. Photo: Anthony Johnson

''It's definitely still on the cards,'' Folau said. ''Obviously, if I do enjoy [rugby union] it might be play on, otherwise I could explore other opportunities.''

Folau said he would never have been in the position if Parramatta had been able to deliver on his expectations when he secured a release from the remaining two years of his contract with Greater Western Sydney on November 1.

However, the Eels had only $110,000 to spend under the salary cap and Schubert insisted that Folau be valued at $400,000 - resulting in an offer of $350,000 that was dependent on another player agreeing to a release.

Schubert's assessment was changed last Wednesday to $250,000, with Fairfax Media told it had been decided that amount was a fairer value for a player who had been in a different code for two years and whose body shape had changed during that time.

By then it was too late and a frustrated Folau said that he was impressed by how much easier negotiations with the Waratahs coach, Michael Cheika, had been.

''Only the NRL know what happened,'' Folau said. ''I made it clear that my first preference was to come back and play rugby league but it didn't work out the way I would have liked. There was a few things discussed and they didn't come through. From my point, it wasn't something I was happy about.

''It took a while for me to understand why the process was taking so long and that is why I started to talk to Michael. When I spoke to him everything fell into place and they got something done pretty quickly.

''Obviously, I came out so late and announced I was quitting AFL and at this time of the year most clubs didn't have much space in their cap so from my point of view I couldn't wait any longer and sit around. For my own security and future I had to move forward and get something done.''

Folau used the press conference to announce his signing to respond to claims he was a ''mercenary'' and lacked integrity for not accepting Parramatta's latest offer, a $2.2 million, four-year deal.

Fairfax Media understands the deal, tabled on Tuesday last week, would have paid Folau $250,000 in 2013, $500,000 in 2014, $700,000 in 2015 and $750,000 in 2016.

''It was never about the money, obviously - otherwise I would have stayed in AFL for the next two years and got paid those big dollars that I was contracted for,'' Folau said. ''But I decided to walk away from the AFL deal, which was massive, and there was nothing secure in the future, so for me it wasn't about that.

''I met with Parramatta on Friday and for me there was nothing to hide. I met them face to face and let them know what I was thinking and where I was heading.''

Asked if he had promised coach Ricky Stuart he would sign with the Eels, Folau said: ''I didn't promise anything. Like I said at the press conference [to announce his departure from AFL], from the time I left the Giants all my options were open - rugby league and rugby union - so there were no promises at all.''

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Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
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Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
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