Folau to let rip in Waratahs trials

By Russell Jackson, Russell Jackson is a Roar Guru


77 Have your say

    Prized recruit Israel Folau will play a big part in the NSW Waratahs trials as coach Michael Cheika weighs up whether he starts the Super Rugby season at fullback or wing.

    The Waratahs play their first trial against Melbourne in Hobart on Saturday week before having pipe openers against the Blues and finally the Crusaders leading into their Super Rugby opener against Queensland on February 23.

    Folau is one of many pieces in the backline puzzle for Cheika to solve before the Reds’ clash.

    “He’ll play, yes,” said the new Waratahs coach of former rugby league star and AFL flop Folau’s involvement in the trials.

    “He’s not like someone’s Christmas present, we’re not going to unwrap him on a certain day.

    “He needs to play and get used to it like every other player who has come here.

    “He comes from a different code or he comes from the academy … it’s the same thing. He’s a winger or fullback at this stage.

    “He’s got a good kick on him … it’s different in rugby though. Not only is it a different ball but there are different situations.”

    Whatever position he plays in the trials, Cheika wants Folau to keep it simple and stick to what he does best.

    “We’re just looking for him to play his natural attacking game whether it be in the air or on the ground,” Cheika said.

    Halfback Brendan McKibbin, who got a late call-up to the Wallabies’ European tour last year, will captain the Waratahs in the first two trials.

    Cheika said most of the players returning from Wallabies’ duty won’t feature until the third trial, creating opportunities for others to show what they have to offer.

    “Because I don’t know the group intimately as far as selection is concerned I think the first one or two (trials) will definitely be big games for some of the players who are looking to secure places,” Cheika said.

    “There’s some players who have been on the fringe here in the past year and then some club players as well who are playing for the possibility of a contract further down the road.

    “I’ll be looking for them to bring a big intensity … not just run out and have a go.

    “…The prime objective is to be ready with a team that’s able to beat Queensland in round one.”

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    The Crowd Says (77)

    • January 26th 2013 @ 3:51am
      kingplaymaker said | January 26th 2013 @ 3:51am | ! Report

      Genia, Cooper, Ioane, Tomane, Sautia, Folau, JOC, Beale, Lealiifano. There’s the Wallabies backline and bench + 1 half back when an outstanding candidate appears.

      And what about youthful Jonah Placid?

      • Roar Guru

        January 26th 2013 @ 8:21am
        Turnover said | January 26th 2013 @ 8:21am | ! Report

        Haha and so it begins.

        • January 26th 2013 @ 8:23am
          kingplaymaker said | January 26th 2013 @ 8:23am | ! Report

          What do you have against this poor young man trying to make his way in the world Turnover?

          • Roar Guru

            January 26th 2013 @ 8:57am
            Turnover said | January 26th 2013 @ 8:57am | ! Report

            KPM, I assume you are that poor young man and not your mate Chris Sautia. Continue, it’s to early in 2013 for us to debate team selections.

            • January 26th 2013 @ 9:06am
              kingplaymaker said | January 26th 2013 @ 9:06am | ! Report

              Turnover that’s not a team selection, but a hypothetical team a little down the track assuming various players do well or continue to do well this season.

              • January 26th 2013 @ 9:50am
                Justin2 said | January 26th 2013 @ 9:50am | ! Report

                My boy is 11 days old, he should be on your list KPM.

              • January 26th 2013 @ 10:16am
                kingplaymaker said | January 26th 2013 @ 10:16am | ! Report

                Another 8 days of experience first Justin 😉 Congratulations.

              • January 26th 2013 @ 10:50am
                Justin2 said | January 26th 2013 @ 10:50am | ! Report

                You’re a tough judge KPM! And thank you…

              • January 26th 2013 @ 10:58am
                kingplaymaker said | January 26th 2013 @ 10:58am | ! Report


    • January 26th 2013 @ 7:14am
      Sailosi said | January 26th 2013 @ 7:14am | ! Report

      There is a halfback who would be an outstanding deputy to Genia, Richard Kingi.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [].

      • January 26th 2013 @ 8:14am
        p.Tah said | January 26th 2013 @ 8:14am | ! Report

        I do feel for Kingi. His versatility (halfback, wing, full back) have made it a challenge for him to cement a the Rebels. Great player. If things don’t change I’d love to see him back on the 7s circuit.

    • Roar Guru

      January 26th 2013 @ 8:09am
      Rabbitz said | January 26th 2013 @ 8:09am | ! Report

      Well he better let rip after all the hype and bulldust surrounding his “recruitment”.

    • January 26th 2013 @ 8:12am
      kingplaymaker said | January 26th 2013 @ 8:12am | ! Report

      Sailosi Kingi shows as usual the problem with not having enough Super teams: as both he and Phipps are at the same franchise it’s quite likely that he won’t get much game time (not that Phipps is up to much). It would be better if they could both start in different teams.

      Rabbitz the NRL seems to have teenage sensations but they are rarer in rugby.

      • January 26th 2013 @ 6:02pm
        Hightackle said | January 26th 2013 @ 6:02pm | ! Report

        Australia does not have enough talent to cover 5 super teams.
        They had to bring a SA 10 and a NZ 9 to the force who have 4 foriegn players.
        The Rebels have 8 foriegn players in their squad if you include Vuna.
        Even with the overseas player boost it is thought that these 2 teams will be too weak to compete with the top teams.

        Live in the real world.

      • January 26th 2013 @ 6:16pm
        Hightackle said | January 26th 2013 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

        The answer to Australias lack of depth is not an extra super team when they cant fill 5.
        Last I checked NZ and SA had more depth than Aust but only have 5 super teams.
        A national comp is the answer but like a lot of things to do with bettering the top level in Australia, it has fierce opposition and lack of support.

    • January 26th 2013 @ 8:24am
      Johnno said | January 26th 2013 @ 8:24am | ! Report

      KPM agreed, Australia needs a 6th super rugby team, we have the ability to develop another 40 players easily. And with leagues, say 5 foreign improts per team, and all the talent around, there is defiantly the base to build a 6th super rugby team.

      • Roar Guru

        January 26th 2013 @ 8:44am
        Rabbitz said | January 26th 2013 @ 8:44am | ! Report

        Good Grief!

        What a load of unmitigated codswallop. What ever drugs you are on, you need to halve the dose.

        The five current franchises can not put together competitive squads as it is, and you want to spread the talent even thinner?

        Next you say we can generate 40 new players (out of nowhere, as there is no viable feeder into Super Rugby in this country).

        Then straight away you contradict the whole thing by saying that the franchises should be able to have five imports, well six franchises times five imports is 30 imports – that leave the development of 10 new players.

        However, if those 30 are playing how are the current fringe players going to get a look in? Not to mention the new players that have materialised out of thin air.

        Seriously, rugby is struggling because of too many Super franchises in this country not too few. Fix the underlying feeder issues, then and only then can the current franchises become viable and competitive. Once that is all in place then expansion might be viable but that is at least 10 or 15 years away.

        I used to think that free expression on the internet was a good thing, but as time goes on it has merely fed the delusional with the belief that they have something to say.

        • January 26th 2013 @ 8:55am
          Atawhai Drive said | January 26th 2013 @ 8:55am | ! Report

          Rabbitz, you’re off your long run today, son.

          If you haven’t seen it already, have a look at Wayne Smith’s piece in The Australian this morning. A new proposal for the missing tier, something that I for one did not see coming.

          • January 26th 2013 @ 9:25am
            Johnno said | January 26th 2013 @ 9:25am | ! Report

            Attawahi drive, read the article. It is just a proposal but the concept i am not a fan off. An under-23 comp is not ht best way to develop talent. An under-20 comp is better. An under-23 comp is just a stop gap chuck all the rest in idea, it won’t work.
            Player welfare wise 19 yr olds are at a different stage to say a 22 yr old. So in scrums etc, there could be some real mis matches.

            I’d have an east coast comp, ARC, starts about 10-12 new teams playing a short season. This would cut down on travel costs. An under-23 comp is a stop gap solution, that won’t work.

            NRL has an under-20 comp, not an under 23 comp.

            • January 26th 2013 @ 9:34am
              kingplaymaker said | January 26th 2013 @ 9:34am | ! Report

              Agree with Johnno, in fact a university competition could take players who now go into franchises out of the Super system if they choose to play and study at the same time.

              The most urgent thing is the ARC, then the under 20s, and in fact those two could be almost combined or the under-20s could be a junior version of the ARC. Whatever the case these are the best two options.

              • January 26th 2013 @ 9:54am
                Johnno said | January 26th 2013 @ 9:54am | ! Report

                KPM exactly. The article spoke about the good sports facilities, some Universities have, that is true. But there is no reason why teams can’t join up in sponsorship deals with them like the Brumbies have done.
                Your right about them too being lost by the super rugby teams not being able to manage them.
                Under-23’s just doesn’t work in the modern game, players at 21-23 are at a different stage of there development level to a 18-20 yr old player, especially in the forwards, it simply won’t work,or reap benefits.
                The ARU have to find the money from somewhere and have an ARC even just on east coast, and set up an under-20s comp too.

                I hope the under-23 model doesn’t get the go ahead.

              • January 26th 2013 @ 10:14am
                kingplaymaker said | January 26th 2013 @ 10:14am | ! Report

                ‘But there is no reason why teams can’t join up in sponsorship deals with them like the Brumbies have done.’ Hits the nail on the head and:

                ‘Under-23′s just doesn’t work in the modern game, players at 21-23 are at a different stage of there development level to a 18-20 yr old player, especially in the forwards, it simply won’t work,or reap benefits’ Hits the bull’s eye 🙂

          • January 26th 2013 @ 9:51am
            Justin2 said | January 26th 2013 @ 9:51am | ! Report

            It’s a farcical proposal.

          • Roar Guru

            January 26th 2013 @ 11:46am
            Rabbitz said | January 26th 2013 @ 11:46am | ! Report


            Full of a length, off the long run, generally gets the batsman’s attention…


        • January 26th 2013 @ 9:05am
          kingplaymaker said | January 26th 2013 @ 9:05am | ! Report

          Rabbitz first of all I’m not in any way against a third tier though it is not the miracle cure you seem to believe it is.

          Your raging tirade is rather woolly, so I’ll try to clarify things for you.

          The point I was making to Johnno was that there is much concentration of players in the same position at some franchises, where they can’t get game time because someone else is in front of them. Someone like Kingi for example could play at a new franchise and actually get a start. This applies to many players and shows how a lot of talent is wasted when too many good players in one position are concentrated in the same club.

          So that would provide a base for a new team. The team would then be further boosted by imports and some NRL converts with strong rugby backgrounds. There’s your team. What’s so mysterious???

          I would have more imports in each of the current franchises anyway, partly to strengthen the weaker ones.

          Is this beyond comprehension? I believe I wrote it in English and not some obscure Mongolian dialect.

          If we waited your 10 to 15 years the NRL and AFL would have about 20 teams against rugby’s 6, and would have DESTROYED rugby. Presumably that’s what you want? Let them expand, offer more and more places to rugby’s young, continue to win larger TV deals because of the bigger market they reach because of their greater number of teams, and leave rugby a shrivelled corpse! That it would seem is your glorious dream.

        • January 26th 2013 @ 9:17am
          Johnno said | January 26th 2013 @ 9:17am | ! Report

          Rabbitz you live in a time warp it seems. And you are very conservative regarding imports. You seem happy to have all the imports in the NRL, and the BBL and A-leauge you are happy with lots of imports but not super rugby.
          Reality is you get a team in area, spend money on junior programs in the area, and your away.
          There are talented players from both league and union would like a start and be good enough to fill, and talented players in the shute shield and brumbies, reds, and warpaths extended squad who just need a break. Look at a bloke like Neville as an example. You clerkly lack vision Rabbitz it seems, and contradict yourself by being happy about foreign imports in other aussy sporting comps.

          • Roar Guru

            January 26th 2013 @ 11:45am
            Rabbitz said | January 26th 2013 @ 11:45am | ! Report

            Without somewhere to train, school and mould the new players where are they going to come from?

            There are not enough quality players to go around at the moment, if the methods used currently can’t supply enough players how on earth will it supply even more?

            KPM, I never mentioned a third tier. I said the feeder system. If the thinking is confined merely a third tier then there is as much hope of finding the players as the current imbeciles in the ARU.

            It needs a ground up overhaul, junior, subbies, club, rep, women’s, golden oldies, seven’s, super, the bloody lot.

            • January 27th 2013 @ 12:17am
              kingplaymaker said | January 27th 2013 @ 12:17am | ! Report

              Well, much of the reason for the current shortfall in players is BECAUSE there aren’t enough teams to take them as teenagers and so they go to rugby league! There is not enough ‘capacity’ to keep what goes through the junior system.

              • January 27th 2013 @ 8:46pm
                stillmatic1 said | January 27th 2013 @ 8:46pm | ! Report

                yeah because rugby league has 16 fully functioning, financially stable teams with superstars throughout, right KPM!!? ohh, thats right, they don’t have that at all. maybe the NRL are missing all the talent and its all going to the chess clubs………………

      • January 26th 2013 @ 8:02pm
        Hightackle said | January 26th 2013 @ 8:02pm | ! Report

        Johnno if Australia has the ability to easily develop another 40 players, why are they not doing it? Becuz as it is I reckon the 5 super teams could easily use another 40 super level Australia players now. Australian rugbys problem is not lack of super teams to accommodate players, its lack of players to accommodate the 5 teams they have.
        You guys are thinking backwards.

    • January 26th 2013 @ 8:41am
      kingplaymaker said | January 26th 2013 @ 8:41am | ! Report

      Johnno it’s interesting to think of the team that could be assembled from reserves. You have Kingi and maybe Lane at 10, two of the four Reds centres, maybe Harris and Faiingaa (assuming Tapuai and Sautia the other two), Kuridrani, a wing from the Reds, Paddy Ryan, Lopeti Timani etc…bascially you could make a handy team just out of players who can’t make the starting XV of existing teams, even without NRL imports of foreign imports although you would of course have them too.

      • Roar Guru

        January 26th 2013 @ 8:59am
        Turnover said | January 26th 2013 @ 8:59am | ! Report

        Injuries KPM…..

      • January 26th 2013 @ 9:22am
        Johnno said | January 26th 2013 @ 9:22am | ! Report

        Exactly KPM a lot of players just need the right environment and a coach who believes in them, and just a professional environment.
        Look at Beau Robinson, Timani senior and junior, and Neville as examples.

        And I will throw in stirling mortlock too. Mortlock is a sydney boy born and and bread, went to a GPS school the King’s school. Officially retired last year 2012. And was out best outside centre in the last 10 years maybe 20 years even. And a former wallaby captain, and you know what he never player 1 game for the warpaths in his whole career, go figure that one out Rabbitz.

        And KPM you see with Mortlock, the value of the brumbies coming in , it gave guys like this a chance, not be lost and forgotten in the system.

        Nick Cummins at the Force too, has benighted from the force being there. And many other examples, with supposed record junior participation levels now in rugby in OZ, these pro structures are needed not to mention tv rights money.

        • January 26th 2013 @ 9:32am
          kingplaymaker said | January 26th 2013 @ 9:32am | ! Report

          Precisely Johnno, and what few realise is that it takes time for these players to spread out to the new franchises and be identified if not at Super level. Most want immediate results so if the new team isn’t a star outfit in its first year they screech ‘there isn’t enough talent’, failing to understand that shipping out talent takes time. Neville and Pyle did not appear at the Rebels in the first year but the second, and doubtless more talent will appear this year, and more the next, talent that would otherwise have been lost.

          Pure imbecility.