Israel Folau to play 'like Digby Ioane'
February 18, 2013
Israel Folau ... "When he touches the ball, he's pretty handy," Ewen McKenzie says © Getty Images
Israel Folau will enjoy a Digby Ioane-like roaming role for New South Wales Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night, Queensland Reds director of coaching Ewen McKenzie believes.
Folau, the former Queensland Maroons State of Origin league star, returns to Brisbane's "Cauldron" to make his Super Rugby debut for the Waratahs, after he left Brisbane Broncos and the NRL in 2010 for a failed stint in the AFL with GWS Giants.
McKenzie is planning to expose the code-jumper, but he says Folau, likely to start at fullback, is a definite dangerman.
"Obviously when he touches the ball, he's pretty handy," McKenzie said.
"He can step off both feet and he looks electric in that sense. We'll be making sure if he gets the ball, we won't give him much space. And we'll find other tactics to keep him busy."
Folau, 23, has been an instant hit for the Waratahs in the trials, but he showed inexperience against the Crusaders, batting a grubber kick over the deadball line, instead of grounding it, resulting in a penalty.
Folau isn't up to speed with all the laws, but McKenzie believes Michael Cheika, the Waratahs coach, will ensure the rugby novice enters the stage in a relaxed state with a licence to roam.
"He'll play pretty much unencumbered, probably not dissimilar to Digby Ioane," McKewen said.
"With Digby, we just let him play. We've got plays and moves but Digby roams and that's why he touches the ball more than anybody else in every game and breaks more tackles. Players like that, you want them to touch the ball."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Jonny Wilkinson is the face of Toulon but whisper it, they might be a better team without him. Paul Eddison examines the case for dropping the talisman
"It does sometimes get tough as you get older, but there's nothing else I'd rather do." Tom Hamilton talks to fly-half Dan Carter
Stingers, a rampaging Fijian and two Dannys looking to be champions of the world - Monday Maul looks at some key talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Top 14, Super Rugby and the Aviva Premiership with fireworks and monsters both featuring