Wallabies ace Israel Folau is refusing to rule out another code switch as he weighs up his future after six seasons in rugby.
The superstar fullback is off contract at the end of 2018 and even the lure of a second Rugby World Cup appearance next year may not be enough to keep Folau in the 15-man code.
“Look, it’s something I enjoyed last time around. But, in saying that, there’s plenty of options on the line and, when that time comes, I’ll make a decision when I’m ready,” Folau said on Wednesday.
“There’s no rush. I want to make sure everything is set in position and I feel comfortable and I’ll come out and make that announcement.”
The only three-time winner of the John Eales Medal as Australian rugby’s premier player, Folau commands upwards of $1 million a season, with not only cashed-up clubs in Europe and Japan circling.
A rugby league Test representative at just 18, a multiple State of Origin series victor with Queensland and a grand final winner with Melbourne as a teenager, Folau is also undoubtedly once more in the sights of NRL clubs.
A move from the NSW Waratahs to the Auckland-based Blues is also not out of the question after Folau married New Zealand netball star Maria Tutaia last November.
The threat of losing its No.1 drawcard and match winner will surely sound alarm bells at Rugby Australia.
At 28, Folau is at the peak of his powers physically, but still hopes to take his football to new heights.
“I feel really good. Physically, my body’s in good shape and I feel good and I feel mentally good as well,” said the 62-Test stalwart ahead of the Waratahs’ Super Rugby hosting of the Melbourne Rebels on Sunday.
“I just feel like I’m happy with parts of my game but certainly I’m never satisfied fully. I’m always wanting to get better.”
After helping the Wallabies reach the 2015 World Cup final, Folau indicated the global showpiece wasn’t the be-all and end-all when asked if Japan 2019 was a big enough carrot to ensure his future lay in rugby.
He is placing no timeframe on any announcement.
“I’m pretty comfortable in terms of my position and where everything is going,” he said.
“There’s no rush from my end. My management – like I’ve said so many times in the past – are always doing a lot of work in the background.
“I haven’t really thought about it too much. My job obviously is solely here on what I can do with the team here and my mind’s obviously on the game on Sunday.”