The Sydney Roosters take in Barcelona’s sights – including the Nou Camp stadium.
The Sydney Roosters take in Barcelona’s sights – including the Nou Camp stadium.

Israel Folau snubs Roosters training session

Update: Israel Folau has abandoned a planned training session with the Sydney Roosters in Barcelona on Tuesday night (AEDT).

Catalans coach Steve McNamara told the Daily Telegraph that Folau was still recovering from bumps and bruises suffered in his debut in the Super League last weekend.

 

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Istael Folau made his Super League debut for Catalans Dragons at the weekend. Picture: Ella Pellegrini
Istael Folau made his Super League debut for Catalans Dragons at the weekend. Picture: Ella Pellegrini

"It was his first game for a long time," McNamara said.

"He feels like he's been run over by a bus.

"We have a two and a half hour bus trip to and from Barcelona so he stayed at home for physio rather than sit on the bus."

Former NRL star James Maloney led Catalans through a lively contact session with his old club the Roosters.

It is a long way from Moore Park and the Roosters' temporary headquarters in demountables at Fox Studios.

The NRL's glamour club is here in Barcelona on a four-day stop over and training camp on the way to Manchester for the World Club challenge against St Helens on Sunday morning (AEDT).

 

The Sydney Roosters take in Barcelona’s sights – including the Nou Camp stadium.
The Sydney Roosters take in Barcelona’s sights – including the Nou Camp stadium.

The players and coach Trent Robinson were among a crowd of 85,000 to watch superstar Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona beat Getafe 2-1 last Saturday night.

Messi's salary is worth around $900,000 a week - about the same as Roosters superstar and the NRL's No.1 player James Tedesco will earn over an entire season.

While the Roosters are the benchmark club in the NRL, soccer here is a whole new level.

The Roosters got to train on Monday on Barcelona's famous Olympic Stadium where the running track is still in place from Linford Christie's 100m gold medal victory in 1992.

 

The team take a run at the Olympic Stadium. Picture: Instagram.
The team take a run at the Olympic Stadium. Picture: Instagram.

Next door is the swimming pool where Kieran Perkins won the 1500m final.

The Roosters are the first rugby league team to be allowed onto the Olympic venue.

Through the connections of former Wallaby coach Michael Cheika, who is now on the Roosters' coaching staff, the players, coaches and chairman Nick Politis were also taken on a tour of FC Barcelona's training and junior development centre.

There are 11 full-size soccer fields inside the compound.

 

The players take in the city’s famous landmarks. Image: Instagram.
The players take in the city’s famous landmarks. Image: Instagram.

 

Plus a modern five-story boarding house where 60 of the best young players in Europe live, eat and train with a dream of playing for the great club.

It was where Messi started out as a 13-year-old after leaving his native Argentina and grew to become the world's greatest player.

The Roosters have been blown away by the experience.

"We're here to win a big game of footy on the weekend," said co-captain Jake Friend. "But to experience what we have over the last couple of days has been amazing for all the boys."



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