Code hopper Israel Folau rates younger brother John as stronger than him, as his sibling prepares to make his NRL debut.
But Parramatta fans, hoping John’s elevation to their senior side could tempt his Wallaby star sibling back to rugby league and their club specifically, are likely to be disappointed, with Israel ruling it out in the short term.
John, 21, wasn’t originally listed in the Parramatta team to play the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday, but it’s understood he will line up for the Eels.
A Queensland under-20 representative, who has also played for the Tonga senior national team, John can play in the forwards or the backs.
While he’s Israel’s little brother in age, he’s the same height at 193 centimetres and is listed at 112 kilos, nine more than his older sibling.
“I think he’s a lot bigger frame than I am; I think he’s probably a lot stronger than I am,” Israel Folau said on Thursday.
“He’s got a good offload on him and probably different attributes to me.
“I’m proud of him and, hopefully, he goes well.”
Dual international Israel, 25, hasn’t tried to cram too much advice into his brother’s head.
“He’s played the game long enough,” Israel said.
“He trains with the guys within the squad that’s got great experience in the game.
“So just go out there and play in his role as best as he can for the team, and then to try and obviously enjoy the experience – that’s the main thing.”
Asked if he could end up playing at Parramatta alongside his kid brother, Israel said “not at this stage, no.”
His NSW Waratahs and Australian Rugby Union contract expires at the end of this year, but Israel isn’t fretting about where he might end up.
“I’m not too worried … I’m letting my management team sort that out while I focus on my rugby,” he said.