Folau happy with his leap of faith
A change of faith has steeled Israel Folau ahead of the immense challenges awaiting him in the 2012 AFL season.
Folau was a devout Mormon since childhood but his family cut ties with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints earlier this year.
Greater Western Sydney's code-hopping star now practises under the Assemblies of God fellowship, at a Tongan service similar to the Hillsong Church.
He couldn't be happier with the change in spiritual path.
''I had a personal experience with the holy spirit touching my heart,'' Folau said.
''I've never felt that before while I was involved in the Mormon church - until I came to the AOG church and accepted Christ.
''It's been an amazing experience for me personally and I know a lot of people on the outside have been saying stuff about why we left.
''And some people [are] assuming that we left because of money, and all that sort of stuff. I know for myself that it wasn't.''
The 22-year-old instigated the change himself after researching the history of Mormonism.
Folau's friends have been understanding and supportive for the most part, but he admits it has been hard on a few of them.
God will play a large role in Folau's life as he attempts to secure a berth in the Giants' side for their season opener against Sydney.
''He's certainly going to help me a lot out next year [in the AFL] and throughout my whole career,'' Folau said.