Former Tonga rugby league international John Folau is following his older brother Israel into rugby union and will join him at Super Rugby club NSW Waratahs in 2019.

The 24-year-old outside back switched to union this year and has secured a training spot with the Waratahs following games for the Sydney Rays in the National Rugby Championship.

MARK METCALFE/GETTY IMAGES
John Folau will join the Waratahs after a spell with Parramatta in the NRL.

He played one rugby league Test for Tonga in 2014 and played for NRL club Parramatta in 2015-17 but says eventually playing union at an international level has always been the dream.

“As a kid, one of my childhood memories was sitting around the TV with family and watching the Wallabies play and watching those players represent the country,” Folau said.

Waratahs assistant Chris Whitaker coached Folau at the Rays and said while injury restricted him to only two games, he had shown ability and willingness to learn.

Israel Folau also played rugby league before establishing himself in rugby union and claiming 71 Test caps for the Wallabies since 2013.

Earlier this year, Israel Folau put pen to paper on a four-year deal that keeps him in Australia until the end of 2022.

DAN MULLAN/GETTY IMAGES
Israel Folau races away from former Hurricane Brad Shields to score at Twickenham last month.

The deal was done some six months after Folau’s anti-gay comments caused a social media firestorm.

Negotiations were well under way on the fullback’s contract at the time but the saga, sparked by an Instagram comment while Folau was sidelined by injury in April, put them on the back burner for most of the Super Rugby season.

But after one of his most electric years yet in a Waratahs jersey, the 69-test fullback recommitted to NSW and Australia for a seventh season in rugby.

The deal was a major vote of confidence for the Daryl Gibson-coached Waratahs, who managed to fend off interest from Queensland to keep their decorated fullback.

This content was originally published here.