Izzy Folau: Chance of a Lifetime
Izzy Folau: Reality Check
Izzy Folau: Pushed to the Limit
Izzy Folau: Standing Tall
David Harding & Izzy Folau
Random House Australia, 2015
176pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99
With the Super Rugby competition for 2015 decided, the Bledisloe remaining in the hands of the All Blacks and the Rugby World Cup in full swing, this new series featuring champion Israel Folau will be just what younger rugby fans will adore to read as the follow the progress of their favourite teams.
Its two stars, Daniel and Sione have both been picked for the Valley rep team to play at the State Championships. But they couldn’t be more different with Daniel from an affluent family, attending sports-mad Barker College and having all the confidence in the world while Sione is from the other side of the tracks where his school holds a mufti day to raise the funds for him to attend the selection camp and he’s so lacking in self-confidence that he doesn’t go to school that day. But both have been picked and are off to camp to be coached by Izzy Folau.
As the series follows them through their training to the final match, as well as great tips about playing football there is also a strong undercurrent of sportsmanship, friendship and what it means to be a team member as well as believing in yourself, even when you’re angry and frustrated and you don’t reach the heights you were sure you could. Folau tells the boys, “I’ve changed sports a few times and every time I did there were people who weren’t happy. Without meaning to I upset fans, the media, and, worst of all, my teammates. Each time I had to walk into a change room filled with people I didn’t know to play a game I wasn’t too sure about. I found it hard to be happy and relaxed sometimes, but I did my best to make it work. I trained, I was nice to people, I was a good teammate. You know why?…If I didn’t, I might as well have gone home. It’s the same for you guys. If you can’t chill out, have fun and be proud of your achievements, then you might as well think about going home.”
This is a series for the young fan who is an independent reader who wishes they had the opportunities that Daniel and Sione and their teammates have. But even if they don’t realise the dream of having Izzy Folau as their coach, there is much to learn and enjoy from this series.