Brisbane - Israel Folau's stunning rise in his third code is complete, with the
Waratahs fullback set to be named on the right wing against the British
and Irish Lions on Saturday.
Berrick Barnes has been given first crack at the No 15 jersey
to provide voice and direction to the back three. Kurtley Beale's
return to the Wallabies is likely to come from the bench.
The inclusion of Lealiifano ahead of Pat McCabe signals the
Wallabies intent to play with width and pace, while his kicking game
will also alleviate the pressure on No 10 James O'Connor.
But it is the inclusion of Folau after less than one full
season of Super Rugby that will be a major talking point. Just five
months after a tentative Super Rugby debut against the Reds at Suncorp
Stadium, Folau's form and line-breaking ability has made him impossible
to ignore for Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.
Folau's diligence in
absorbing information away from the paddock has also impressed the
Wallabies coach, who backs his temperament in the big occasion.
Folau will link with Ioane in potentially devastating combination
down the flanks, providing the Wallabies can win enough ball and secure
quick possession at the breakdown.
Wallabies XV: Benn Robinson, Stephen Moore,
Ben Alexander, James Horwill (captain), Kane Douglas, Ben Mowen, Michael
Hooper, Wycliff Palu,Will Genia, James O'Connor, Digby Ioane, Christian
Lealiifano, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Israel Folau, Berrick Barnes.