Rugby Union 2 years ago

Waratahs want Folau at ball-carrying best

  • Waratahs want Folau at ball-carrying best

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 09: Israel Folau of the Waratahs heads for the tryline during the round 16 Super Rugby match between the Waratahs and the Hurricanes at Allianz Stadium on July 9, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

NSW playmaker Bernard Foley has a simple plan for getting the best out of Israel Folau this Super Rugby season: give the game-breaking back the ball as often as possible.

Folau has played the bulk of his career at fullback since joining the Waratahs in 2013.

However, the code-hopping superstar excelled at outside centre for part of the 2016 Super Rugby season. It is a role Folau will reprise this year, if Foley has anything to do with it.

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"He's such a threat. We want a guy like that touching the ball as much as possible," Foley said.

"Israel is an amazing talent. His ability to attack in that front line is definitely a massive advantage for us.

"The more we've got him touching the ball in that front line, he's definitely going to attract more defenders.

"It's something we're going to really continue with and persevere with."

Foley's comments follow speculation that Folau could be headed back to NRL with Auckland-based club the Warriors.

"I just heard that for the first time. No comment," Foley quipped.

Foley was full of praise for Folau, who has attracted more and more attention from opposition sides around the world since making his Wallabies debut in 2013.

The 27-year-old's aerial prowess is now but one of many strengths.

"The best thing about Izzy is he keeps trying to reinvigorate his game. He's not just happy to be at fullback, or just catching high balls," Foley said.

"Teams and defences have worked out ways to try and shut him own. They've tried to double-team him in defence.

"He's someone who wants to be part of the game, wants to be in that front line and have the ball in his hands.

"He's really worked out his game and how we can try to maximise his impact."

Foley and Folau were among the Wallabies returning to NSW's pre-season training this week.

The Waratahs' first trial is against the Brumbies on February 4, before their Super Rugby campaign starts with a home match against the Western Force on February 25.

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