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Springboks coach in awe of 'Izzy'

  
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9/3/2013


Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer is in awe of Qantas Wallabies winger Israel Folau, naming him as "one of the best game breakers in world Rugby".

The former Blue Bulls and Leicester Tigers coach is also expecting a big lift from the Wallabies when the two teams meet at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday night, as the Men of Gold look for their first win of the 2013 Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship.

"I don't want to talk the Wallabies up” said Meyer, “I want to talk my own team up, but he's (Folau) been a revelation to watch in Super Rugby. At the end of the day it doesn't matter which country you coach, I love to see him play."

Meyer has also put his team on notice that they will have to aim up in defence to contain the dual international who remarkably is only in his first year of Rugby.

The Wallabies for their part will also seek to involve Folau as much as possible, fully utilising his aerial skills, developed through several seasons in Australian Rules with the struggling Greater Western Sydney Giants.

Folau, who played five times for Queensland in State of Origin, is often the Wallabies point of attack from kick-offs as he displayed when he claimed three re-starts from the All Blacks in the pair of Bledisloe Cup Tests in August.

The Minto-born 24-year-old was also impressive when the Waratahs toured South Africa during Super Rugby, playing a starring role as NSW hammered the Southern Kings 72-10 in Port Elizabeth. In all he scored eight tries in his maiden Super Rugby season.

"I really believe he's one of the best game breakers in world rugby and he's only played properly for one season," continued Meyer.

Meyer also predicted that the Wallabies' would lift after their Bledisloe Cup campaign, suggesting that head coach Ewen McKenzie might start with home-town Quade Cooper at flyhalf over young Brumbies star Matt Toomua, who wore the No.10 jersey in both clashes against the All Blacks.

"If you're the South African, New Zealand or Australian coach, you're always under pressure, the team's always under pressure," he said.

"They will want to lift themselves. It will be very physical and I think it will be very fast. It will be a very quick Test match.”

Meyer also laughed off suggestions that the Wallabies were understrength.
“We don't see that they're weak because they've lost a few games. It will motivate them more."

The Springboks started their Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship campaign with a big nine-try 73-13 win over the Pumas in Soweto before enduring a long flight to and from Mendoza in Argentina where South Africa just snuck home 22-17, despite being outscored two tries to one.

Meyer will also look to make some changes to freshen up his team with bullocking Sharks hooker Bismarck du Plessis set to return to the starting XV.

He also has an exciting back three at his disposal with Bulls winger Bjorn Basson, exciting young Cheetahs fullback Willie Le Roux and the evergreen Bryan Habana, who holds the record for the most tries ever scored for the Boks with an impressive mark of 51.

To get your tickets to see “Izzy” carve up the Boks in Brisbane on Saturday night CLICK HERE.