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.
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton
Cards, kicks, slips and scores: It's The Week in Pictures, the finest snaps from the last seven days of rugby