Israel Folau poised to make more history
July 8, 2014
Waratahs fullback Israel Folau has tormented opponents in 2014 © Getty Images
Israel Folau is poised to achieve another unprecedented cross-code double as the first player to top the season try-scorers' list in both Super Rugby and the National Rugby League.
Already entrenched in sport's history books for numerous Test and try-scoring records in both rugby league and rugby union, the Waratahs superstar is set to notch another unique milestone in the last round of Super Rugby's regular season this weekend.
With 12 tries from 11 appearances for the Waratahs in 2014, Folau enters Saturday night's tussle with the Queensland Reds three tries clear of Crusaders winger Nemani Nadolo. Barring an improbable four-try haul from Nadolo against the Highlanders, and none from Folau in Brisbane, Folau will match his feat from his NRL debut season with Melbourne.The feat would also see him break a six-year spell of Kiwi dominance at the top of the Super Rugby try-scoring tree.
In 2007, Folau finished the regular season as the league's equal-leading try-scorer with North Queensland fullback Matt Bowen with 21 four-pointers - the most ever by an NRL rookie, eclipsing Storm team-mate Billy Slater's previous record of 19.
The latest double will add to a lengthy list of records set by the only player ever to compete in the NRL, AFL and Super Rugby competitions.
At 18 and 194 days old in 2008, Folau became Australia's youngest-ever rugby league Test player. After a two-season stint in the AFL, Folau last year became the first player to complete the NRL rookie of the year and Super Rugby rookie of the year double. He capped his spectacular entrance to rugby on the 2013 European tour when he equalled Lote Tuqiri's record for most tries by a Wallabies player in a calendar year.
With the Waratahs in poll position to finally break their Super Rugby title duck, Folau is on the cusp of yet more history. If the Waratahs convert their minor premiership into championship glory, Folau will join fellow dual internationals Sonny Bill Williams and Brad Thorn, along with countrymen Will Chambers and Peter Ryan as only the fifth player to win NRL and Super Rugby titles.
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