Folau lights up Waratahs Super Rugby trial
February 10, 2013
The hyped arrival of Israel Folau at the Waratahs brought high expectations and he's delivered early on. © PA Photos
Israel Folau sensationally marked his New South Wales debut with two tries as the Waratahs posted a 24-16 trial win over the Rebels in Hobart on Saturday.
Folau, the former NRL star who joined the Waratahs after an underwhelming AFL stint with Greater Western Sydney, was outstanding in his first union appearance.
The 23-year-old spent time at fullback as well as on both wings in a game featuring six tries and nearly 60 players over four quarters at North Hobart Oval.
Folau scored his first try in the 12th minute before repeating the feat on the final play of the match.
The former Melbourne Storm and Brisbane Broncos NRL star selflessly offloaded another try and was sent off for 10 minutes for an infringement breakdown.
"I was pretty happy to get my first game out of the way, even though it was a trial match," Folau said.
"I scored that try early in the game and it gave me the confidence to take the whole game out. The boys really played well, which helped me throughout the game. I don't want to look too far ahead of myself. Today was a really good start for me and I've just got to look forward to next week."
Folau said he was comfortable at fullback, but was happy to play wherever Michael Cheika decided.
"I'm certainly confident that I can play in that position (fullback), but it's up to the coaching staff to see where they see me fit to play in the team," he said.
"Otherwise I'm pretty comfortable to play on the wing as well so we'll see how we go. There's a few things that I've got to learn in both defence and attack and as the weeks go on I think I'll pick it up slowly."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
John Taylor argues the world's best XVs players must be given a chance to play in the Olympics to increase the appeal of the game
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9