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Stuart confident of luring Folau to Eels

Parramatta coach Ricky Stuart has already spoken with Israel Folau and says the NRL club will "move heaven and earth" to sign the code-hopping former Test star.
Stuart confident of luring Folau to Eels
by NRL

By James MacSmith

SYDNEY, Nov 2 AAP - Parramatta coach Ricky Stuart has already spoken with Israel Folau and says the NRL club will "move heaven and earth" to sign the code-hopping former Test star.

Stuart revealed on Friday he had made contact with Folau since the 23-year-old announced his decision on Thursday to leave the AFL's Greater Western Sydney Giants.

The former NSW coach predicted Folau would return to rugby league a better player and was confident he would come back to the NRL with the wooden spooners.

"We see him as a key target in regard to getting Izzy to play for the Parramatta Eels," Stuart said on Friday.

"We will move heaven and earth to get him there.

"I see him being a great fit for Parramatta.

"I'm pretty confident he wants to come back to the game.

"He didn't make that announcement because he is going to soccer.

"I spoke to him yesterday afternoon ... I had a good chat with him and everything tells me (he wants to return to rugby league).

Stuart stopped short of saying a contract between the Eels and Folau was a done deal and praised the former Queensland Origin star's decision to turn his back on AFL.

"It was a tough and courageous decision," Stuart said.

"He could have easily taken the money ... it was a very courageous and honest move.

"It's such a great thing for rugby league that he has decided to come back.

"It's what our game needs. We keep hearing about Sonny Bill Williams coming back and yesterday you have that announcement from Israel Folau.

"When you look at Izzy's age, I think the endurance levels of what he had to achieve in AFL will only improve his game in regard to his fitness and energy levels.

"Putting size back on won't be an issue for him either at his age."


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