Israel Folau, Waratahs on the brink

Israel Folau celebrates his try against the Highlanders at Allianz Stadium. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
Israel Folau celebrates his try against the Highlanders at Allianz Stadium. Picture: GETTY IMAGES


Football freak Israel Folau is poised to achieve another unprecedented cross-code double as the first player to top the season tryscorers' list in Super Rugby and the NRL.

Already entrenched in sport's history books for Test and tryscoring records in rugby league and rugby union, the NSW Waratahs and Wallabies' 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'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, the Waratahs' dynamic fullback will match his feat from his NRL debut season with Melbourne.

In 2007, Folau finished the regular season as the league's equal-leading tryscorer with North Queensland fullback Matt Bowen with 21 four-pointers - the most ever by an NRL rookie, eclipsing Storm teammate Billy Slater's previous record of 19 touchdowns.

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.

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 Wallaby in a calendar year.

With the Waratahs in pole position to break their Super 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, Brad Thorn, and countrymen Will Chambers and Peter Ryan as only the fifth player to win NRL and Super titles. AAP


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