Lions in Australia

Folau to start for Wallabies

2013-06-19 07:47
Israel Folau (AFP)
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.

Read more on:    wallabies  |  lions in oz  |  israel folau  |  rugby


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