Izzy, Gai, and Singo hold court in Sydney
Israel Folau of the NSW Waratahs looks to pass the ball. (Photo: Paul Barkley/LookPro)
It’s hard to decide who is the biggest sporting story in Sydney right now – Israel Folau, or the massive ding between Gai Waterhouse, and John Singleton.
It’s a photo finish.
Folau has taken the Super Rugby scene by storm, so much so his dwindling number of knockers call him Izzy.
He has given a growing band of fans, even outside the Waratahs, a lot of pleasure carving up the opposition to score and set up spectacular tries.
But there’s nothing joyous in the Gai-Singo ding that has rocked the racing world to its very foundations. Both are high-profile and very much at the core of a massive industry.
Let’s kick off with the rugby;
Izzy, where is he going, what is his future? It’s high time for ARU boss Bill Pulver to find out.
At the moment, Izzy has a one-year contact with the Tahs. Not good enough.
He’s the hottest new property in rugby, and the World Cup is three years away. That’s the starting point.
Izzy is obviously enjoying his rugby, and has made the appropriate comments of wanting to stay around a lot longer.
Make it happen Bill Pulver – get his signature on the dotted line until the end of 2015 at the worst.
Today sounds good.
Izzy is managed by Isaac Moses of the Titan Management group, good people with Warren Craig and David Riolo as co-directors.
Moses should be told by Pulver one-year contracts are not acceptable to the ARU, nor the Wallaby selectors. There’s no security for rugby in 12-month deals, two more years minimum or forget it.
And that would mean no Lions caps this season, no Rugby Championship, nor end of year tour.
Rugby admin must learn the 15-man code is not a launching pad to bigger and better contracts elsewhere. Rugby stands on its own two feet these days, and must protect itself from being used as it was in the 50 years prior to professionalism.
Izzy and his manager will see the two-way benefits in an extra two-year contract, and everyone will be happy.
Unfortunately, the Sport of Kings hasn’t such an easy way out of the Gai-Singo dispute. When two heavyweights clash there’s always a lot of pain.
And it looks as though what we know is just the tip of the iceberg. That alone sends shivers up the spine.
So it’s obviously far too early to even make a suggestion.
But one thing for certain, the ding must be settled far sooner than later.
The longer the hearings and innuendos go the collateral damage could well be devastating.