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.
Paul Eddison explains how the French sold English clubs down the river and why their domestic game will go from strength to strength
'Nothing can prepare you for the noise of the Millennium Stadium though, you just can't hear anything." Tom Hamilton talks to Cory Allen
Following a weekend where Wales suffered more heartbreak against Australia and the Aviva Premiership showed its class, the Monday Maul looks back at some of the key talking points
"Every game I want to win, I want to be successful. I want to play for England and I want to win the World Cup." Tom Hamilton talks to Danny Care